South African legend Shaun Pollock has vowed to end Glamorgan’s Twenty20 Cup dream tonight when he lines up for Durham at the Riverside.
Pollock has confirmed he will be released from his Test-match commentary duties to feature for the Dynamos as a Kolpak player in their rearranged quarter-final against the Dragons.
And the former Proteas star has revealed his desire to experience something new in a glittering career.
“I have never been to a Twenty20 finals day and I am quite excited about the prospect,” said Pollock.
“It is a big game for Durham. They are a side who are in good touch and are a club going forward.”
Pollock is part of star-studded Durham hosts who could include eight players with international experience and are currently top of the county championship and the holders of the Friends Provident Trophy.
They also boast England quartet Paul Collingwood, Steve Harmison, Phil Mustard and Liam Plunkett.
West Indian batsman Shivnarine Chaunderpaul – who is currently rated in the world’s top five batsmen in Test and one-day cricket – South African Dale Benkenstein and Australian Michael di Venuto provide further firepower.
Collingwood is back in the Durham ranks after being dropped by England in favour of Andrew Flintoff and showed his intent with a match-winning unbeaten 78 against Middlesex in the Pro40 on Sunday.
“I had played 34 Tests and when you are dropped after that it hurts,” said Collingwood.
“It is good to come back and see the lads at Durham but I want to be playing for England again and hopefully I will get the chance again.
“I have to go out and score the runs for Durham in whatever form of the game.”
In contrast, Glamorgan are in disarray in the county championship.
They only qualified for the last eight when reinstated last week by the England and Wales Cricket Board at the expense of Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire after the Tykes had fielded an ineligible player, Azeem Rafiq, in the group stages.
The Welsh county are set to field no overseas players after Herschelle Gibbs’ departure and their reluctance to field Jason Gillespie who, having played in the rebel Indian Cricket League, could threaten Glamorgan’s participation in the inaugural Champions League.
Although the Australian was named in a provisional 13-man squad, the Welsh county will not risk him.
With Gillespie in the side the Dragons could be deemed ineligible if they won their next two Twenty20 games and qualified for the new international tournament.
So Glamorgan are very much the underdogs this evening but that is a tag that sits well with cricket manager Matthew Maynard.
“Durham have got a very strong side with a number of internationals,” said Maynard.
“They are heading up the championship and they are at home. But the guys are really looking forward to trying to upset the form book.
“It will only take a couple of big performances from a couple of the boys.”
Maynard’s son Tom is set to fill the void left by Gibbs and Robert Croft is in line to return after missing the county championship defeat against Worcestershire.
But Ryan Watkins misses out through injury.
The winners of tonight’s clash will go on to finals day at the Rose Bowl on Saturday where they will face Middlesex in the last four.