Pollock to play as a batsman in Afro-Asia Cup

The star-shorn Afro-Asia Cup has received another blow with Shaun Pollock, the South African allrounder, saying that he will play only as a batsman in the three-ODI series that will be played in Bangalore and Chennai from June 6.

"I'm going as a batsman only," Pollock told Supercricket.co.za. "I had a minor operation to remove a growth from my foot and it's still very 'eina' at the moment, especially for bowling. But you know me - I won't miss a chance to move up the batting order and get some quality time at the crease."

The African squad was already missing several key South Africans such as Graeme Smith, who was recovering from an arthroscopic knee operation, and Jacques Kallis. Andre Nel and Andrew Hall were not available because of county commitments in England. Doubts also remain over the participation of Herschelle Gibbs and Mark Boucher although they were named in the squad of 15 that included three Kenyans and three Zimbabweans.

The Asia squad was also depleted with the withdrawals of Shoaib Akhtar, due to injury, and Sachin Tendulkar. Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas had also opted out becuase of county cricket.