Bloemfontein (South Africa): Captain Shaun Pollock dismissed reports of a split in the South African World Cup squad on Thursday and told his critics not to compare him to late skipper Hansie Cronje.
"Whenever the Hansie Cronje affair raises its head, a lot of sentiment goes around," said Pollock ahead of Saturday's match against Bangladesh. "I've moved past it. I have to focus on moving forward. I'm not trying to be a Hansie Cronje or a Kepler Wessels or a Clive Rice." Pollock has come under intense pressure since his team slumped to its second defeat in three games in the tournament, losing a rain-affected encounter against New Zealand at the Wanderers on Sunday after it had posted 306 for six.
The defeat put its future in the tournament in jeopardy as its battle for one of three qualifying places from Group 'B' with Sri Lanka, the Kiwis and the West Indies. Pollock said he was not concerned by recent comments by opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs and veteran paceman Allan Donald, who both had praised Cronje and lamented the absence of what they claimed was his tactical ability.
"I suppose comments like those don't help the situation," Pollock told a South African news agency on a visit to Gray College, ironically Cronje's alma mater. "They don't mean any harm but it did do a bit of harm to the set-up. As for a split though, there's nothing like that. We've dealt with it and moved on." Copyright AFP 2001