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I'm no Cronje, I'm my own man: Pollock

Marcus Prior | February 20, 2003 11:41 IST

South Africa skipper Shaun Pollock said on Wednesday he wants to be his own man and not be compared with Hansie Cronje or other past captains.

Pollock was speaking after the South Africa squad attended a session with young cricketers at Grey College in Bloemfontein, where the late Cronje studied.

Since South Africa's defeat to New Zealand on Sunday, opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs and fast bowler Allan Donald have spoken of how Cronje's leadership skills are still being missed.

Pollock acknowledged that the Cronje legacy remained an issue and also agreed that his team mates' comments had been unhelpful.

"It is an issue that often raises its head," Pollock told reporters. "Whenever Hansie's name is mentioned, there is a lot of sentiment that goes around.

"I've moved past it, I've been captain of the side for three years now and I've got to focus on moving forward.

"I am not trying to be like Hansie, Kepler Wessels or Clive Rice. I am trying to be my own captain and trying to do what's best for the team.

"Ideally, comments that are passed do not help the situation. They (Donald and Gibbs) didn't mean any harm, but it did do a bit of harm to the set-up. We've dealt with it, though."

Cronje, banned for life from cricket after a match-fixing scandal, died in a plane crash last year.

South Africa's United Cricket Board chief executive Gerald Majola has called on the players to stop referring to Cronje and focus instead on winning their remaining Group B matches.

The South Africans held a team meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday which Pollock said had helped re-focus the players on their immediate task of qualifying for the Super Sixes.


"We just needed to regroup as a team and discuss things taking place... We have to knuckle down and produce now," he said.

"The guys who walked out of that meeting were very motivated to do just that.

"Everyone's been trying their best. Things haven't run for us, but we need to turn things around and make sure we win our next three games to get into the Super Six."

The South African captain denied there were rifts in the squad.

"It's an opportunity the press like, a perceived rift in the squad, but there's nothing like that. The guys are a close-knit unit and, if anything, those kinds of things bring us closer together, get things out in the open and help to solve problems.

"People are entitled to their opinions. If there's a criticism of your captaincy, you take it on board but, if that criticism is without substance, you laugh it off. We, as a team, know where we stand.

"We have not played great cricket, which is one of the reasons things come out. The detractors will voice their opinions. We can control that by playing good cricket."

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