Barbados Tridents captain Kieron Pollard has come under fire, after bowling a no ball which denied his countryman Evin Lewis an opportunity to make a record century for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League at Kensington Oval, on Sunday night.
Lewis was on the brink of creating history when he was unbeaten on 97 off 31 deliveries with the scores level at the start of the eighth over. At this point, a boundary would have given Lewis the fastest hundred in CPL history and the second fastest in T20 cricket history.
With Lewis on strike, Pollard bowled a no ball to hand Patriots the win and subsequently deny Lewis the milestone as the Patriots raced to victory in only seven overs while chasing 129. The anticlimactic ending did not go down well with cricket fans throughout the region and the world with many expressing outrage with the actions of Pollard.
Lewis was disappointed but still contented after his knock. Lewis said, “It hurts (missing out on a century), but hitting 97 not out off 32 balls? I’ll take that any day.”
Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, who has played against Pollard in the Indian Premier League for a number of years, expressed his disappointment on Twitter. Jadeja tweeted, “Kieron Pollard Bowls No Balls To Stop Evin Lewis (97* of 32 Balls) From The Second-fastest T20 Century. Bad Sportsmanship.”
Former New Zealand fast bowler Danny Morrison, who was commentating the match said, “(Lewis) deserved a hundred and I’ve got to say, as positive and excited as I am, it’s a pretty disappointing way for Pollard to finish the game.”
Even Pollard’s own Tridents teammate Tino Best “liked’ a post on Twitter criticising his captain.
But one person who defended Pollard’s move was his Tridents teammate and compatriot Nicholas Pooran. On Instagram, Pooran said, “Everyone who is criticizing this man for depriving Evin of his century I am ashamed of you all. I hope those cricket fans and cricketers who posting (expletive) about Pollard I do hope when you all are playing cricket and a guy is on 96 with one run to go I hope u guys give him his century. I am so disappointed in the cricketers and cricket fans for bashing this guy you all know yourself, and I hope you guys feel good by doing this. The saying is right “jealously kills” look at his life and what he has accomplished and then look at yours, if you guys “smart or know everything” do the math! Enjoy your life folks.”