WC 2003 - Hansies dark deeds limited Pollock powers

Published: Sunday, March 16, 2003, 22:21 [IST]
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Durban: Sacked South Africa captain Shaun Pollock said the legacy of disgraced former skipper Hansie Cronje had inhibited his own leadership of the side."Ever since the Hansie issue there's been an effort to make sure the captain wasn't given too much power and shared responsibility was the approach they wanted," Pollock told reporters at Kingsmead on Sunday."Unfortunately that hasn't worked out from my perspective."As captain you want full support to be able to do what you want," the 29-year-old Natal all-rounder added.

"When Eric Simons (the South Africa coach) came in there was talk of him being ultimately responsible. As captain, you want to take on that mantle. You want to live and die by your decisions."Cronje, who was killed in a plane crash last year, received a life ban from cricket in 2000 after being found guilty of corruption charges.Pollock, who said he had never been a person who "shies away from responsibility", explained, "With Hansie's demise, there was talk of him having too much power and free rein and they didn't want to give that same power to me."They (the United Cricket Board of South Africa) were very worried about the fact of what had happened.

"I'm not saying I wasn't allowed to do my job, but the style and approach was to make sure the captain didn't have too much power."Pollock suggested he had not had the full backing of both the media and convenor of selectors Omar Henry. "It's not an ideal situation when your captaincy is up for debate a lot of the time in the papers."Before Omar Henry was made convenor of selectors there was a comment he wasn't sure I was the best captain."Pollock, who inadvertently confirmed Western Province batsman Graeme Smith as his successor, said he hoped the new skipper was given complete support. "That's the way I hope they approach it with Graeme, I hope they give him full backing.

"Pollock denied he had lost the leadership on the back of the team's shock first round World Cup exit. "I don't think I have been sacked on the back of the World Cup. Over my tenure there has been a bit of criticism about the way I've handled certain issues and my management style. But I had the players' respect."He insisted the decision by senior players, Allan Donald, Jonty Rhodes and Herschelle Gibbs to dedicate the country's World Cup campaign to Cronje had not caused a split in the team."A lot of those issues were blown out of proportion," Pollock said. "I don't know where the report came there was a rift in the camp."It's not an ideal situation going into a World Cup. But you can understand the players' feelings.

"Pollock's sacking was announced on Saturday night after he himself had been informed earlier in the day."I just want to say I did not resign as I felt that would be the soft option. I was informed by Omar Henry that my services as captain would no longer be required and I accept that decision."Despite not being captain, I'm 100 per cent committed to South African cricket. I don't see myself ever captaining again."Copyright AFP 2001

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