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Tuesday, 30 October, 2001, 17:29 GMT
Pollock returning to Edgbaston
Warwickshire can expect plenty of wickets from Pollock
Pollock is one of South Africa's all-time greats
BBC Sport Online's Steve Beauchampé canvasses opinion among Warwickshire supporters after Shaun Pollock agrees terms to rejoin the county.

News of Shaun Pollock's likely return to Warwickshire next season has delighted Edgbaston members, who are used to being fed on a diet of world-class overseas stars.

Although his signing, following a successful 1996 season for the club, has been mooted since the end of the summer, it still represents a major coup.

Warwickshire chief executive Dennis Amiss explained: "We needed a quality fast bowler which Shaun is, but he's also the world's best all-rounder with the advantage of knowing the Edgbaston set-up.

"He created a good impression here in 1996 and left us with good memories. We like him very much and he always said that he'd eventually like to return."

Following in the footsteps of Brian Lara and Allan Donald, the rookie Pollock got off to a flyer five summers ago, taking four wickets in four balls in the B&H Cup match against Leicestershire, and finishing with six for 21.

Shaun Pollock celebrates a Test century
Pollock is good with the bat as well

Pollock fully justified his signing, with over 1000 runs and 86 wickets in all competitions, despite a season foreshortened by injury.

A disappointing returns from last season's overseas recruit, Vasbert Drakes, and the club's promotion to Championship Division One, made signing a proven, high-profile overseas player for next season imperative.

Amiss believes it is essential the county continues it's tradition of bringing the world's best players to Edgbaston.

"We're a big, ambitious club based in the country's second largest city and our membership deserve to see the top stars."

Enthusiasm over Pollock's impending return extends beyond the Warwickshire Committee Room.

Shaun's presence provides an opportunity for our younger players to reach out and learn from his experience
Dennis Amiss

Bears supporter Dawn Clennett believes the arrival of the world's number two ranked Test bowler is vital for the side to challenge for honours next season.

"Despite winning promotion, we drew too many games and struggled to kill teams off. Look at Northamptonshire; Michael Hussey scored 2,000 runs but they were still relegated because they failed to bowl sides out."

Clennett also points to the shortcomings of Warwickshire's middle order, where lacklustre performances sometimes turned winning situations into Championship draws or limited-overs defeats.

Her optimism about Pollock is matched by fellow Warwickshire fan James Docherty.

Shaun Pollock
Edgbaston was a happy hunting ground in 1996

"Shaun has the ability to come on and take a wicket when it's most needed with a short three or four over spell.

"It says something that his growing maturity has significantly lessened the impact on South Africa of Allan Donald's slow decline. He's also a great cover fielder, and the type of player who always wants to be involved in the game."

While Amiss insists that Pollock will not be asked to skipper the side, he expects him to form a vital part of the senior team management, working alongside Bears Captain Michael Powell and coach Bob Woolmer on playing strategy.

Clennett believes that Powell can only benefit from Pollock's presence.

"Michael's a young captain and his form suffered somewhat last season with the extra responsibilities of leadership.

"Shaun probably wouldn't want the job anyway but he's enjoyed success leading South Africa and I can only see him being a positive influence in the Edgbaston dressing room."

See also:

29 Oct 01 |  Cricket
Dagnall seeks new county
27 Sep 01 |  Cricket
Woolmer handed ICC role
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