South Africa coach Mickey Arthur has promised Shaun Pollock that he has a future on the international scene, despite leaving him out of the recent first Test against New Zealand.
Pollock missed out on the Proteas' victory at the Wanderers, with his omission leading some to question whether, at the age of 34, the all-rounder is now surplus to requirements.
But, following "an emotional meeting" with the player, Arthur has pledged that Pollock is still "too valuable a player" to be overlooked and promised that, for the forseeable future, he will be considered for selection.
Arthur told The Mercury: "We discussed every aspect of Polly's contribution to South African cricket and we went as far as talking for what lies ahead for him in the Test arena.
"I want Polly to be part of our plans for the next 18 months.
"He is too valuable a player to be dumped at this stage even though it may seem that we are not utilising his services."
Explaining Pollock's contribution to the team set-up, Arthur stressed the experience accrued in a Test career stretching back 12 years and yielding 416 wickets and 9648 runs.
"He is valuable around the younger players when they need guidance and that's where he plays a huge role," he continued.
"And I have realised how well he has served South Africa - with honesty, integrity and with dignity - and I wouldn't want to see his career end in tears.
"I will personally manage the remainder of his future in the Test arena - that's a promise I made to him.
"I will see to it that he gets what he deserves as a player and we will look at the options as we go along."