Former South African cricketer and commentator Shaun Pollock has sparked controversy with a comment he made during the 32nd match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. While doing commentary on the match between New Zealand and South Africa, Pollock suggested that New Zealand pacer Trent Boult might be looking for “sandpaper” to generate some swing.
Pollock’s comment was made in the seventh over of South Africa’s innings, after Boult had been unable to generate much swing with the ball. “Latham is keeping those two slips in place. They are into the seventh over. Boult gets early swing but he hasn’t got much. Maybe he’s looking for sandpaper, just to clip off a little bit of edge,” Shaun Pollock said.
Pollock’s comment was widely condemned by fans and commentators alike. Many people accused him of making a light of the sandpaper scandal that rocked Australian cricket in 2018. In that incident, Australian cricketers Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for tampering with the ball during a Test match against South Africa.
“Latham is keeping those two slips in place. They are into the seventh over. Boult gets early swing but he hasn’t got much. Maybe he’s looking for sandpaper.” – Shaun Pollock 💀
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) November 1, 2023
Shaun Pollock has since apologized for his comment, saying that he was “trying to make a light-hearted joke” but that he “realizes now that it was in poor taste.” However, many people believe that the apology is too late and that Pollock’s comment has damaged his reputation.
Pollock’s comment was a major blunder. He is a respected figure in the world of cricket, and his words carry weight. By making a light of the sandpaper scandal, he has shown disrespect to the Australian cricket team and to the game of cricket itself.
Shaun Pollock’s comment is also a reminder of the challenges that commentators face. They are under pressure to be entertaining and informative, but they also need to be careful not to offend anyone. In this case, Pollock failed to strike the right balance.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock(w), Temba Bavuma(c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi
New Zealand: Devon Conway, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham(w/c), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Trent Boult