April 26, 1996. Warwickshire was hosting Leicestershire in a Benson & Hedges Cup at Edgbaston. The fans were excited to welcome their new recruit, a 23-year old fast bowler from South Africa. Shaun Pollock was already in focus thanks to his performance and family background. Coming from one of the greatest sporting families of South Africa which included his father Peter and uncle Graeme, Shaun was marked for greatness. But he had to prove himself in the county circuit, a place where his father and uncle made their names during the days when that county was the only platform to showcase their skills to the whole world.
His captain Dermot Reeve won the toss and elected to field. He did not believe in giving the newcomer some time to settle down as he handed the new ball to him to bowl the first over of the match. Pollock got his first wicket in his second over of the match which helped him to calm his nerves. He maintained a great line and bowled with exceptional control and Leicestershire could never get away. After 6 over they had just 9 runs on the board for that one wicket. They were not aware that things would become worse.
Pollock started his fourth over against Greg McMillan. McMillan survived the first delivery but given out caught in the slip in the next delivery. James Whitaker, the captain came and got a great delivery first up to get bowled. Peter Robinson came out to stop the debutant from the hat-trick but by that time Pollock was unstoppable. His good length delivery took the edge, brushed the pad and got caught at short leg. It was a hat-trick on debut, always a great achievement. But what Pollock did next was extraordinary. Darren Maddy came to bat after hat-trick and immediately nicked the first ball he faced to third slip. Pollock had four-in-four! It was unbelievable. At that point, his analysis read 3.5-2-1-5. It was a memorable debut and a special spell.
Pollock continued bowling from one end and took another wicket before finishing his 10-over quota with 10-5-21-6. This was one of the greatest debuts in county cricket. Although Leicestershire showed some late fight, finally it was an easy win for Warwickshire to celebrate Pollock’s great achievement!
Watch the performance here