‘T20 will improve standards’

K. PICHUMANI

“South Africa have the experience and strength both in batting and bowling and if we play to our potential, we can give the Aussies a run for their money,” says Shaun Pollock in an interview to V. V. Subrahmanyam.

Shaun Pollock initiated the dramatic comeback of his team, Mumbai Indians, in the IPL after four consecutive losses. At 34, the South African is still a force to reckon with.

“The IPL has been exciting and very successful. This is a new ingredient in world cricket,” said Pollock to Sportstar when he was in Hyderabad for the match against Deccan Chargers.

“But I don’t think I would have wished it to happen during my playing days. I have enjoyed my experience this year and that is it,” he pointed out.

Pollock has played in 108 Tests (3781 runs, 421 wickets) and 303 One-Day Internationals (3519 runs, 393 wickets.

On his experience of playing along with Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya.

We have played a lot against each other. There were days when they dominated and days when I was on top. That is the nature of the game. Nice to mix with them.

This is a professional era. When you represent the country there will be a certain pride and players will be more competitive than when they are playing in the IPL.

On South African cricket.

There is so much action in the national side and there are representatives from all sections. The quota system has been eliminated now after some targets were set.

I had a good run. It was a fantastic feeling to play for such a proud cricketing nation.

We have the experience and strength both in batting and bowling and if we play to our potential, we can give the Aussies a run for their money when we play them by the end of this year.

On his role in the Cricket Development Committee of the ICC.

We will try to see how the game can be preserved and managed. And make suggestions and contributions so that the sport moves in the right direction.

We will take viewpoints from across the world and hope it will have a good impact overall. However, this committee can only make suggestions to the ICC which controls the laws of the game.

About the impact of IPL on world cricket.

I am sure the dust will settle down soon. But Test cricket remains the true test for any player. One-day cricket is a great format. And T20 will improve the standards of the game in all aspects.

On South Africa’s disappointing performance in the 2003 World Cup at home.

There was disappointment all round. We had real ability and a good team to win at home. Somehow things did not work for us. In fact, we should have done much better in all the four World Cups.

On his role in the South African team.

You have got to develop one aspect of the game. It is very difficult to come in as an all-rounder. Batting came along next for me. I was happy with my overall record.

Will he be a part of the cricket setup in South Africa?

Definitely not in the immediate future. Let me be away from the game for a while as I have commitments to fulfill. May be, I will come back at a later stage.