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Daryll John Cullinan

Daryll John Cullinan

BatRight-handBowlRigh-arm off-break
Born-National Team Eligibility-
Years of Service2001DebutKent 2001, Border 1983, Western Province 1984, Transvaal 1991, Derbyshire 1995, Gauteng 1997, Easterns 2003, Northern Titans 2004, South Africa 1992.
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Other Teams

Border, Western Province, Transvaal, Derbyshire, Gauteng, Easterns, Northern Titans, Impalas and South Africa.

Player Biography

Less of an enigma than is sometimes claimed, Daryll Cullinan was the centrepiece of South Africa’s batting from the early to mid 1990s. He came out second best in his duels with Shane Warne, but although much was made of the animosity between the two, a more sober assessment of Cullinan suggests that his failures on two Australian tours were largely the result of an almost desperate desire to prove himself against a cricketing nation he holds in high regard. In other words, Cullinan tried just too hard to succeed against Australia. Against all other attacks in all kinds of conditions he scored runs, as demonstrated by his century in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2000 when his hundred came against Muttiah Mularitharan, the world’s best offspinner, operating on a turning track. In 1994, when South Africa were decimated by Devon Malcolm and bowled out for 175, Cullinan made a graceful 94 and was the only South African not to lose his wicket to Malcolm. Equally adept against pace or spin, Cullinan had the priceless gift of timing. He made even a forward defensive prod look stylish. He took some time, it is true, to shake off a reputation earned as a schoolboy as the “new Graeme Pollock”, a label tagged on him when he broke Pollock’s record as South Africa’s youngest first-class centurion. During the 1990s, however, Cullinan set the South African mark for the highest first-class score (337 not out against Northern Transvaal in 1993) and at Eden Park in 1999 he edged past Pollock’s highest Test score of 274 by one run to claim the then South African record. Cullinan made 14 Test hundreds in all. More importantly, he accepted the role of senior batsman, and it is surely no coincidence that when he scored first-innings hundreds in the first and fourth Tests against England in 1999-00, South Africa went on to win both matches. Cullinan tried to opt out of one-day cricket at the end of the 2001 season, but the board, understandably, put pressure on him to sign a new two-year contract. However, he retired from all international cricket in 2002 under a cloud of dispute with the board. Recalled that season to play Australia after recovering from a knee injury and a lack of form, he suddenly withdrew from the team on the eve of the second Test. It was later revealed that the board had had been unable to meet certain demands made by Cullinan. He subsequently retracted his retirement, but the board found itself able to resist the temptation to bring him back.