• A left-handed master

    Graeme Pollock, South Africa’s player of the 20th century, made his debut 52 years ago to the day on Friday.

    Pollock is considered one of the best batsman, if not the best, that South Africa ever produced even though his promising international career was cut short at the age of 26 due to South Africa’s sporting isolation.

    He is widely considered to be the best left-handed batsman the game has ever produced – Donald Bradman certainly thought so, classing only Garry Sobers as his equal among those he saw play.

    Pollock (71) showed in his 23 Tests what an awesome talent he possessed; his highest score of 274 was for many years the South African Test record. Pollock was an extremely powerful batsman, although his timing was perhaps his most obvious natural asset, and could also bowl effective legspin at times. He scored his maiden first-class century when he was just 16 and then posted his first Test hundred at 19 in Australia

    He scored 2256 Test runs at an average of 60.97 including seven hundreds and 11 fifties. His last Test came against Australia in Port Elizabeth in 1970.

    He served on South Africa’s selection panel in the 2000’s, but was diagnosed with colon cancer and Parkinson’s disease a few years ago and now lives a quiet life in Johannesburg.

    Picture: PA Photos

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