– Welcome to the show, gentlemen.
– Thank you. Son of Peter Pollock, nephew of
Graeme Pollock, the legendary batsman.. If I was you, I would’ve sat at home.
Relaxed. Done nothing. Not taken the pressure. But you took it on, and I must say
you did a great job. I mean, how did you go through this? It was a motivating influence
for me, as a youngster having my uncle still playing,
having heard the stories about my dad. It had an influence
on my career, you know. At Natal, we played under Graham Ford. He obviously helped me and I had
Malcolm Marshall as a massive mentor. But when people say to me “Who had
the biggest influence on your career?” I say, “My dad.”
And they say, “Why?” I said “Because he was the convener of selectors
who picked me to play for South Africa.” So, it was a bit of a family business. I was still staying at home at that time so, I would always tell him
how well I was bowling and how old those other bowlers
were looking. [Vikram laughing] When I ended up playing for South Africa
in England, against England they called me, “Daddy’s boy.” Barmy Army had a special song
for me for the first series. When I went down to the boundary,
they kept telling me that the only reason I was playing
was because my dad was in charge and he was picking me. But Micky Stewart was also involved
in the selections so, Alec Stewart was in a similar
kind of boat. So it wasn’t too bad,
but, yeah, it was huge. I think it obviously showed me the line
of how to play cricket. And at home, my dad would always
have the advice. It was almost like having a coach 24/7. Smithy, you also made your debut
as captain at 22 years of age. Many of your contemporaries, including Michael Vaughan
writes in his book that “This Graeme Smith was cocky,
he was a little arrogant “and he showed off” and obviously
you’re big built and you know and the way you chewed gum
helped built that aura. – I had to build something.
– [Vikram laughing] At 22, if I look back now,
it was pretty stupid. But I think, in many ways initially, it was like a facade, really. A protection mechanism. At least he called you Graeme Smith
rather than Greg Smith. [Vikram laughing] It happened, right? Yeah, so.. You know, the first major tour
was to England and building up to the test series,
Nasser Hussain wrote an article. I think, there was an article,
where he called me, “What’s his name?” [Vikram laughing] And then, you know,
the build up to the test match lot of nerves, lot of things being said and as I walking out for the toss
at Edgbaston on day one Nasser was standing there with the mascot and he introduced me to the mascot
as Greg Smith. -That’s not a great start..
-Very loud and clear. But I was so nervous that I couldn’t
even get a word out at that time but went on to get a double hundred
in test matches. – Vikram: Two of them.
– So, I got him back. – He resigned after the first test match.
– [Vikram laughing] Then we went to Lord’s
and he dropped me on nine and I got a double hundred,
so I got my payback on that, so. – He learnt his lesson as well.
– Yeah. Cricketers have a lot of superstitions
and the legendary Neil McKenzie story I believe he did something really bizarre. But as a team, did the South African Team
ever have any superstition? I don’t really think we had superstitions. I think we all liked to do something
in our own way like I used to put on my left shoe
on before my right shoe left glove before the right. You’d have your favorite pair of socks
and cycling shorts you’d want to wear. I think as a team, we always used
to look for omens like when something was going
to go in our favour and one story I can remember is in Pakistan, we had played
the first two tests. We drew the first one
and second one was washed out so it was down to the decider and it was in Faisalabad. And we got there and they did a bit of the ceremony
before the start of the game. And there was something going
on with the Pakistan Team they had done something
about the pitch the day before. We were feeling a little bit like we were being plotted against. We were looking for a sign
that things gonna go well. Anyway, so, they do this ceremony and they have got these young kids
holding pigeons, doves I don’t know actually what they all were. But they are holding them by the wings. And this guy’s giving his speech. As you know, the politicians when
they get the opportunity.. For 5, 10, 15 minutes.
He’s talking, talking. And these kids were holding
these doves all the time. Anyway, eventually they said “Now the test match is officially open
and the game begins.” So, kids throw these things
up into the air. But by this stage, their wings
were so tired they just came down on to the floor. So, none of them wanted to fly. Kids are now chasing these doves
and pigeons around to get them to take off. And there was one white one. And you know, coming from a Christian
sort of background in South Africa white dove is a sign
of purity and whatever. There was one white one
and it eventually took off. And it was so tired, it could only
have about 10 seconds flight. It took off and came and landed
on our balcony and perched itself
right in front of all of us. So, we sort of turned to each other
and said, “This is a good sign. “It has come and landed on our thing.” Pat Symcox was bowled through
the stumps in the match so the ball went straight through
between the stumps. So we had a few lucky things going
our way and we ended up winning the match. So, that were the kind of signs. We did look for signs as to when
things were going to go good. I-I’m missing Symo, you know. “Batters always score runs.
Bowlers always take wickets.” – Rare insight.
– Symo.. What about you? You mentioned Neil McKenzie..
I think might as well raise.. He had a number of stories
over the years of crazy things he did and he was superstitious in his life,
not only on the cricket field. But I remember playing
a test match at Lord’s and we fielded fairly extensively
and you know had bowled England out you got 10 minutes as an opening
batter to get yourself ready. And Lord’s is not an easy place
to get out to the changing room and get back. You have to dodge
all the old creatures in the Long Room. Get up the stairs in there,
by the time you get there you probably got 6 or 7 minutes to do what you need to do
to get ready to bat, you know. So, I’m busy padding up
and I’m getting ready in a rush, sweating, changing, whatever. And now I’m ready,
busy putting on my helmet and I look over and Neil McKenzie’s opening the batting
with me, he’s busy packing his bag up. He’s busy.
He’s put his pads in, his helmets he’s zipping up his cricket bag. I shouted at him.
I said, “Mac, what you doing?” So, he fobs me off. I see him unzipping
and he starts padding up again. By this time, the umpires and the England
Team are already out in the middle. He’s just putting on his first pad. So, we get out in the middle,
boos everywhere, whatever. So, eventually we were
into the innings now. I said, “What was going on there?” He said while he was padding up, he was
sponsored by Gunn and Moore at that time he touched the ‘O’ in Moore. Thought it was the sign
that he was going to get naught. So, he took all his kits off,
packed his bag and started again. There was one game, where his teammates messed around with him and they
strapped his bat to the roof. And he ended up getting a 100. He couldn’t find his bat. Eventually found it,
went out and got a 100. So, for the next game, he got them
to strap it to the roof again. – That is the funniest story ever.
– [Graeme laughing] – He was unbelievable.
– He was next level. But there’s one story
that AB de Villiers told us on this show. And he said that he pranked you
by becoming a ghost in your room and you were really scared. He’s scaring bowlers as we know
around in India at the moment. But apparently, I mean, he told us
that you were really rattled. AB was actually quite a prankster. H-He was actually really good at it. We were playing a game in Kanpur. I don’t know why we always went to Kanpur. I mean, always. I don’t know why.
We must talk to someone at the BCCI. We always went to Kanpur. And stayed in a really old hotel. I remember it being purple everywhere. Fluffy purple carpets
and couches everywhere. Being a captain, you know.. As a captain, you generally
got a suite, you know. It was just the way it was. I think people expected you to have
a lot of one on one meetings with players and stuff like that. In this hotel, in Kanpur,
I had a massive room. It had a lounge and couch section. It was just an enormous room. And I never actually went into
the couch section a lot so, you know.. I arrived at training the next day. And I said to the boys,
“Something’s not good in my room.” It’s haunted definitely. This place is creaking
and something’s not good. After training, we came back.. We all were on the same floor. And a couple of boys
come into the room with me they wanted to check it out. They come in, walking around, whatever. And I don’t notice that
they opened a window in the lounge section. So, we get on with the afternoon go for dinner and come back. I’m lying in bed watching some TV. And I hear things moving around – in the lounge section.
– [Vikram laughing] I sit there and I go
“Oh, my goodness, what’s going on here?” So, I get up and go open the door. The room’s a mess.
The couches have been moved everywhere. Things are lying on the floor. I’m thinking, “Oh, my word.” I’m actually swearing to myself. I’m thinking,
“What the hell’s going on here?” So, I go, close the door, get back into bed. Just thinking, I’m going to leave it. And it happens again. So, if he had left.
This is where he messed up, actually. If he had left, I wouldn’t
have slept that night. But they decided to come back again
for the third time and as I heard the noise, I ran. I saw them climbing through the window. So, I caught them eventually. Thank goodness, otherwise,
I would’ve had a sleepless nights. – It was planned by the Indian Bowlers.
– Yeah. What about you, Polly? Polly is a nice guy but I’m sure you’ve
been part of some leg pulling exercise. – Vikram: Some time…
– Yeah. There were always plenty when I first started actually
with the South African side there was more going on then. You know, just general pranks
that they used to get. Clinging a wrap and putting it
over the toilet. So that when you woke the next
morning and went to the toilet it would like bounce instead
of going into the toilet bowl. And sugar in the beds
and you know, all those kind of stuff. Leaning hot water against the door and when you open it, it falls in and – Wow!
– it comes on your feet. That’s some kind of training. I think the worst we ever had was Paddy Upton and Hansie
had a bit of a relationship with regards to trying to get
each other and going one up. And on my first trip,
we came to the sub-continent it was for the World Cup in 1995-96. We always used to have malaria tablets. So, every two weeks, the doctor
would hand out the malaria tablets and we would have it just in case. And then one morning, Hansie was having a bit of a spat with Paddy
and trying to get one up on him. He went to the doctor and said “Listen, give me the malaria tablets,
I’ll hand them out.” But what he did was he got
two sleeping tablets as well. So he handed us
all the malaria tablets out. And when it came to Paddy,
he handed him two “Malaria tablets” – which were actually sleeping tablets.
– [Graeme laughing] And about 45 minutes or an hour later
we ended up leaving for the ground. And it was quite a bus trip
to get to the ground it was like a 45-minute drive
and we were all watching Paddy and he was sort of starting
to nod off a little bit. When we got to the ground,
he still hadn’t fallen asleep. So, we did a little bit of warm-up and Paddy was all over the show he was like a foal
that has just been born, you know. Couldn’t keep his feet together. He was almost collapsing. But, to his credit,
he still wouldn’t fall asleep. So we said to Bob, “Come on,
we got to try something.” So, Bob got the boys together and said, “Listen. I’m detecting a little
bit of tension in the camp here “I want us to just relax a little bit. “I don’t want us to get uptight so.. “All lie on your back, so we can have
a little bit of a meditating session.” And we were two minutes in
and we just heard Paddy. – [Imitating snoring]
– [Graeme and Vikram laughing] He had fallen asleep. So, we got an umbrella and we put it up and he ended up sleeping
for most of the practice. That is unbelievable. So, Hansie was the winner. Polly, you know, I’ve seen
a lot of players celebrate after winning a particular match. And what they do is, give high fives
and stuff like that and they hug each other. You’re the only cricketer I’ve seen when you won against Sri Lanka you celebrated by hugging the umpire. Actually, it wasn’t…
We hadn’t won at that stage but I got a wicket
and that’s why we celebrated. There’s a reason behind it. In those days, we used to have issues
with the white ball the decolouring of the white ball and after 34 overs, they used
to change the ball. It was quite a tight game. It was Adelaide and Biffy was the captain at the time and we were touch and go to win the game. I think Chaminda Vaas was at the crease
and he was going quite well. And when they changed the ball,
they came and gave it to us. It was a Regulation.
Now, for those who don’t know the ball we played with was a Turf so it’s harder,
it’s got a less pronounced seam. And when you hit it,
it obviously goes further. The Regulation is softer. A lot softer. So, it can almost be like
trying to hit a lemon at times. So when they changed the ball,
they gave it to me I used to take the ball and shine it up
and I looked, it’s got Regulation. I thought “Jeez.” Bowled a few balls
and they were trying to whack it and the ball’s going absolutely nowhere. So eventually I bowled
a slower ball or a low full toss or something to Vaas and he whacked it
and got caught on the boundary. A-And I obviously knew that it was through the fact
that the umpires had given us a Regulation. Because it wasn’t the greatest delivery. So as I ran past, I gave him a hug. I think to this day,
he still doesn’t know why – [Shaun Pollock]I gave him a hug.
– Aleem Dar. But I was ecstatic because it meant
that we’re probably going to win the game and I’d picked up a wicket. So, yeah, it was something… And when you see the footage there’s Graeme Smith coming
from, I think, mid-off – and he’s like “Did he cross…”
– [Pollock and Graeme laughing] That’s how tight the game was, you know. We were worried about losing. And it had been a tough tour as well. – We hadn’t won too many.
– Anything to win. But talking about celebrations I think your biggest celebration was when South Africa chased Australia’s 434,
if I’m not mistaken. And you won that match and it was some epic stories around that
particular game, especially with Kallis. You were there inside the dressing room. Tell us what exactly happened. Yeah, I mean it was 2-2 in the series going to the Wanderers, which is probably you know, the best stadium
in South Africa. Most iconic stadium in terms
of the atmosphere and the buzz of playing at the Wanderers. You know, I won the toss that morning
and bowled first. So when Australia crossed 400,
I thought… amazing and I patted myself on the back
and said “Good job.” – [Vikram laughing]
– Good decision. And you know, first time anyone
had crossed 400… I think they got 434, you know. You’re walking off and you’re
thinking, “Wow!” You know, “How did this happen
and how are we going to do this?” So, everyone’s obviously a bit down. Get into the changing room and
I thought to myself, well, I’m captaining. But I’ve got to open the batting. So, I’ve only got 15 minutes,
let me get myself ready first. Get padded up. Get organised. And then we will try and see
how we go about this. So while I was padding up,
the change room was dead quiet. Everyone’s sitting in their little spaces. No one’s saying anything. Kallis came up the stairs
about 10 minutes after everybody else and said, “Guys, bowlers “I think we have done a good job,
they’re 15 runs short.” So everyone, obviously, burst
out laughing, you know it broke the ice. – Wow!
– The changing room chilled out a little bit. And then we decided to set some targets
which were ridiculous so we all started laughing. We’ve never seen like, you know. After 10 overs,
let’s be at 160 or whatever it was. You know, it was mental. A-And it ended up being the most
iconic ODI ever played. We chased it down. We could’ve done with Polly,
he was injured for that game. Maybe they wouldn’t have got to 400 and could
have done with his batting at the back end. But… An epic celebration. Actually, a funny story about Mark Boucher w-we really celebrated that night. With the Australian Team as well
in the hotel. And the hotel had a glass see-through lift. And Mark had had a few too many. He decided to take himself off to bed. We were all…
Some of the Australians watched him wobble his way to the lift. He got in the lift
and he went to push the button and he missed the button and fell over. And for the next 45 minutes we all
watched him go up and down until Bret Lee couldn’t take it anymore he went and fetched him
and took him to bed. Epic that is. You know, specially coming
from Jacques Kallis I’ve interviewed him so many times and you can’t… You know, there’s no
change in expression for one hour. Like he never says anything
and he’s always like this. The same stoic Jacques Kallis and here, he actually said this
and it’s epic. He’s actually got a really subtle sarcastic, good sense of humour but he’s a very quiet man,
he doesn’t say much and he’s very much an introverted guy. So, that’s why when he does
finally have a punch line – it actually makes an impact.
– Yeah. – Hugh impact.
– Yeah. Polly, I’m going to talk about
the 1999 World Cup. I don’t know if you will
appreciate it or not. Let’s go there. You’re going to get that a lot now,
with the World Cup coming in England. But you know what?
He had a fabulous performance himself. So, he has some great memories
of his performance. Not much good. But you know, Indian fans always remind Indian cricketers about the bad days
they have had. – Yeah. So, I’m sure Chetan Sharma
even today is still reminded of that last ball six
that Javed Miandad hit him. He can have as many
good performances for India but we’ll still remember that. And I’m sure you also got
a lot of problems because of that 1999 World Cup match. Yeah, we never lost the game when I captained a couple
of times in the World Cup for us but it was a great game of cricket because of the ebbs and flows,
they had it won, we had it won. We finally had it done and then
it didn’t happen for us but we had actually played Australia in 1997-98, we toured there. We had some good One Day results and we had a bit of a team song
going at that time. So it was Tubthumping,
“I get knocked down, but I get up again.” Because the tests hadn’t gone well. But in One Dayers, we had beaten
New Zealand, then beaten Australia and things were going pretty good. And every time we won,
we turned that song up in the change room next to them… Steve Waugh had made a few
comments about Tubthumping. – “I get knocked down.”
– Yeah. And he wasn’t too happy about that song and he said, “That bloody song”
or something along those lines. And I can tell you that as you talked about
the dressing room in that 438 when we went in there, it was quiet. When we had lost and hadn’t
got over the line we were obviously sitting there,
everyone’s depressed and all we hear the next door
“I get knocked down… “But I get up again.” That was quite a funny one. And then obviously it was Allan who ended up not running
through the confusion. And he had number 10 on his back. And we got home in about two weeks later it was Rothmans July, which is a massive
racing event in South Africa… In Durban which is my hometown. And so we went to the Rothmans July it’s a bit of a gathering
and social activity. And one guy came up to me
and in those days everyone’s giving you tips
about who you should bet on. I mean, I didn’t know which horse
or whatever… You just look at a name and think
what number you like and bet on that. So the guy comes up and he says “Hey, what about this main race?
Who you gonna bet…” I’m trying to give him my explanations
of what I have heard but he actually wasn’t interested. He just wanted to have his little
one-liner at me. Anyway, once he is finished, he says… “What I think is don’t bet
on number 10 because he doesn’t run.” I was like, “Oh, very funny.” You know, because Allan didn’t
run in the World Cup. You can go check the result. 1999, winner of the Rothmans July, number 10. El Picha was the one who romped home. – His advice wasn’t right.
– It’s good memory. And you have suffered in India
all the time because of your brilliant performance
against Zaheer Khan. So, I kind of… It’s a cliché,
but I’ll remind you of that. In 2006, I was covering the India
tour of South Africa and I was in the commentary box and
the stump microphone was raised a little bit. And I could see the entire Indian Team
sledging at you. Even when Kumble was bowling they were saying,
“Well bowled, Zaheer, come on.” When Graeme was batting. Yeah, so, I’m consistently
reminded of Zaheer Khan actually on social media,
I think it’s about at least once a day. An Indian will tweet me
and tell me about Zaheer. How are you against Polly? I was terrible as well. Terrible. So, Polly, you got him out
like four times in a net session? I think I would be winning the battle. In the nets, I was amazing against Polly. I think I had his number. N-Not too bad… Well, I was going to say two good bowlers
to at least talk about. At least it wasn’t an average bowler. Polly, you were somebody
who irritated Sachin Tendulkar with that nagging length and he liked
to hit it on the rise and you didn’t allow him to do that. That time we didn’t like you at all because Sachin irritated means
entire nation’s mood is affected. So, you know how it is. When you and him played for Mumbai Indians we said, “Yeah. Same team, not a problem.” Yeah, it was actually quite nice. I mean, obviously, when you’ve played
against Sachin it was his reputation, you always
wanted to try and get him out because he was the star performer. And he was the real threat to winning
the game for his country. He wanted to… And we came across each other often because I opened the bowling
and he opened the batting in One Dayers. And then we would meet
in the test matches. For the first time I actually met
him in a test match was quite interesting
at the Wankhede Stadium. It was obviously home ground,
Mumbai, for Sachin and I think by lunch time or so just after tea,
he got himself close to a hundred. And everyone started to flock in
to the stadium, you know. We started of maybe with
2,000 people at the ground but by the time he got to 90 I think about 10 or 12,000 had gathered. I think it was Hansie or Jacques someone got him out
down the leg side for 90 we came together and we gave
high fives and everything. And there was still two hours
to go in the day’s play. We turned around and everyone
was funnelling out of the stands. They were all going home like it was a fire evacuation. But it was nice. After that whenever you played against him obviously the amount of applause
and the way the crowd reacted to him. Playing with him at Mumbai was great
because no matter where we went it was like a home game for us
because you got Sachin in your side that means, everyone’s going
to shout for you and get behind you.
So that was a nice experience. And it was nice to get to know him
and see him from a different perspective. – Behind the scenes…
– You also got a lot of standing ovations. Polly… You were called “Polly Kaka” also. Yeah. They gave me “Polly Kaka”. “Kaka” in South Africa.. – Not a good word.
– It’s not such a good word. Actually, in India “Kaka”
means uncle. In Marathi. Yeah… They did call me “Polly Kaka”. – In South Africa, it means rubbish.
– [Vikram and Pollock laughing] I’m putting it nicely. And in the first year,
Sanath was playing for Mumbai and they used to shout for him. By the end of the tournament Sachin hadn’t played the first
seven or eight games and they started to get behind me
and shout “Polly” for me which was quite unusual, you know. When you come to India, you never got
anyone shouting for you, just against you but that was a nice experience but as I said, it was all down to the fact
that I was playing for Sachin’s Team. But you know, Sachin got standing
ovations wherever he went the Indian Team got it. But there’s one game I remember in Kolkata where the South African Team got a better
reception than the Indian Cricket Team. Tell us something about that. Yeah, I mean, I had many interesting
experiences in Kolkata. Once I spent a whole day in a hospital
because a car drove over my foot. Oh, really? But this one was quite amazing
and it was about the timing really you know, Greg Chappell was…
We were very lucky that he was coaching India and causing all the chaos that he was. And he decided to drop Ganguly and move him away from the captaincy which was perfect timing
to go to Eden Gardens. And I remember we bowled India out
reasonably cheaply I think you got Sachin again that day
actually, from memory. And I managed to get a hundred
batting second. I think it was 130 odd not out. And I remember standing in the middle
of Eden Gardens the old Eden Gardens, there were
80-90,000 people. And listening to them cheer for us
because they were so upset with what was happening with Indian Cricket,
Sourav Ganguly wasn’t playing. And it was such a unique experience
standing in the middle of Eden Gardens as Polly says, listening to all the Indian
fans cheer for every run that you get. It was like… It was a bit out of kilter. And a better memory I’ll certainly keep
with me for the rest of the life. Actually, I won a motorbike
in that series for Man of the Series. I still haven’t got it.
Can you find it for me? This show will probably get you that bike. Gentlemen, it’s time for the Hammer game. And this is the time
to relieve your frustration. He had an edge over you when it came
to bowling against you. – Not all the time.
– This is your time to take revenge. Because this is about brute strength.
Playing the hammer game. Let’s see… Knowing Polly, he will have a theory
about this as well. Let’s see who hits the hardest. Come on. I don’t know about that. This is the Hammer game. And you can decide who goes first. Age before beauty. We have to enter the masters division, eh? The masters… We can’t enter
with the youngsters. So what’s the thing? Just swing as hard
as you can and whack it. Absolutely. [Pollock screaming] [All laughing] Nice. 800. – Does that hurt?
– It’s my wrist. Feels like it snapped. Sure, Andre Russell. This is going to be big. – 880…
– Come on… Yeah.. This is a world record, I think. Come on, yes.. Wow! 911.
You’re the winner. Fantastic job. Congratulations, Smithy. – You got it…
– Your wrist all right? Well done. This show is about celebrating the ducks,
‘What The Duck.’ We are going to check
your ability to draw a duck. Got a few. Might as well draw one. There you are, you can take your positions. Polly asked for the extra colour,
he’s got it. You’ve gotta have red to go with the head. There you go. – Wow, Polly is…
– Have you seen my protea? I’ve got a protea egg going. Amazing visualisation by Graeme Smith. A 3D perspective by Shaun Pollock. Amazing. Signature of the artist.
Nice. Well done, gentlemen. We have a small gifts for you – it will be in your memory bank for sure.
– Okay. Let’s start with Graeme Smith. This is number 19. These are the total number
of ducks you’ve scored across formats. Really? – Oh, that’s…
– 31. That’s a… Hey, you beauty. See. Keep this shirt. 19, unbelievable. – It’s 19 and 31.
– Yes. It’s made my day. Thank you. – Batting average of 34, so, it’s not bad.
– Sheesh! 31. This is what happens when
you play so many games.