Durban: South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock has announced his retirement from international cricket following the second day's play against West Indies here Friday.
Pollock, 34, said he would retire from Test cricket after the current third and final Test against the West Indies.
He will play in the five-match one-day international series against the same opponents before retiring from all international cricket. His final appearance will be at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on February 3.
He will then play in the officially sanctioned Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 competition in April.
He said he had had received offers to play county cricket in England this year but was undecided at this stage whether he would have a third stint in the county game. He played for Warwickshire in 1996 and 2002.
"I'd like to thank Cricket South Africa (CSA) for allowing me the opportunity of repersenting my country for the last 12 years," he said.
"I thoroughly enjoy the honour and privilege of wearing the Protea badge and take with me some remarkable memories having played against some great players.
"I realise I have been blessed by God and feel I have nurtured my talents to the best of my abilities."
Pollock, who was playing in his 108th Test, has also featured in 298 one-day internationals for his country.
He said he had decided at the beginning of the season that it would be his last but he had not made an announcement because he had not been picked for any of South Africa's first six Tests.
"I had wanted to make an announcement at the beginning of the West Indies series but having been left out of the New Zealand games (earlier in the season) the last thing I wanted was to catch a game just for sentimental reasons or as a last hurrah," he said.
Pollock said he believed his timing was right.
"It is pleasing to see the wealth of budding (South African) bowling talent in the wings and I am happy that I am finishing on my own terms."
Pollock is playing in his 108th Test. He is South Africa's leading wicket-taker with 420 after capturing four wickets in the first innings against the West Indies at Kingsmead.
He has also scored 3781 runs to rank among the leading all-rounders of all time.
Pollock has played in 298 one-day internationals, scoring 3476 runs and taking 387 wickets.
South African vice-captain Ashwell Prince said Pollock had informed his teammates of his pending retirement before play Friday.
"We were all quite surprised. He will forever be an icon in South African cricket. The way he has carried himself, he has been a role model to youngsters and a role model to myself as well. Besides his cricket ability he is just generally a good person."