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Pollock roots for Lance return

Durban: Former South African skipper Shaun Pollock joined the debate about the controversial omission of Lance Klusener and hoped the allrounder would return to play for his country again.

“I hope that he will return to play for his country again,” Pollock was quoted as saying by a local daily on Thursday.

Pollock said he was convinced Klusener “still had a lot to offer to South African cricket”.

“Lance has always performed at his best when we’ve had our backs to the wall. I hope his present situation will bring the best out of him and that he will return to play for his country again. He is a match-winner, and I believe he has a lot left in his armoury,” Pollock said.

Pollock’s words contradict that of his successor Graeme Smith, who said that Klusener was “disruptive” and could “only cause hassles”.

The burly Afrikaner, nicknamed Zulu for his felicity with the language, was controversially left out of the South African team that leaves on Sunday for a tour of England where they will play a series of ODIs.

During the Proteas’ last visit to England, in the 1999 World Cup, Klusener emerged as one of the best hitters and won the Player of the Tournament award.

“It was because of him that we got to the semi-finals,” said Bob Woolmer, who was the coached then.

The debate regarding Klusener’s omission was first started when the new skipper criticised him two weeks back. Then, Woolmer entered the fray, accusing Smith of having the “temerity” to criticise Klusener.

But despite his difference of opinion with Smith, Pollock promised full support to the new captain.

“Graeme’s got to try and do things his own way, particularly at the start of his captaincy, so he needs plenty of room. But I will offer help where it’s needed,” he said.

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