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Monday 16 September 2019
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Pollard: All hands on deck

New WI captain on player selection

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard 
addresses the media yesterday, during a Cricket West Indies press conference, at the Hilton Trinidad.
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard addresses the media yesterday, during a Cricket West Indies press conference, at the Hilton Trinidad.

NEW West Indies 50-over and T20 captain Kieron Pollard wants all players available for selection, saying the level West Indies are playing at right now needs “all hands on deck.”

Yesterday, at a press conference, at the Hilton Trinidad, Port of Spain, Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skeritt announced that TT’s Pollard will be at the helm for the shorter formats of the game. Pollard replaces Jason Holder as 50-over captain and Carlos Brathwaite as T20 captain. Holder will remain Test captain.

A number of the region’s top players have had issues with CWI under the leadership of Dave Cameron between 2013 and 2019. Players such as Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy have been out of West Indies colours for years, but Pollard is keen to have everyone available.

He said, “From the last sort of conversations before the last (50-over) World Cup, we were told that each and everybody was available for selection.

“Being on or off the field, I think the contributions of these guys should not be forgotten, especially if they are consistently still playing cricket. I do not see (any) reason why they shouldn’t be part or parcel of a West Indies team going forward. Again, I don’t want you to hold me to that, but again, it is a situation where the state where we are at right now, we need all hands on deck in order to go forward.”

Discussing some of the senior players returning, Pollard said, “Dwayne (Bravo), for example: he has publicly stated that he will come out of retirement from January in order to play T20 cricket, so that in itself is a booster for us. You see Sammy on the cricket field again, running around leading the Zouks, so again once all things being equal the pool is open.”

President of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Ricky Skerritt,left, speaks with Dwayne Bravo,right,
and newly appointed West Indies ODI and T20 captain Kieron Pollard,centre, at a CWI
press conference, held at the Hilton, yesterday.

Skeritt, who said he had a discussion recently with Holder about the decision to remove him, wants Pollard and Holder to share their ideas. “He (Holder) is still going to be our red-ball captain, and he and Mr Pollard, I am sure, will share a lot of time together and a lot of experiences and strategies together.

“I hope that Jason Holder will compete for a place on Mr Pollard’s teams. I hope this will give Jason Holder an opportunity to be an even better cricketer than he has been even in white-ball cricket, (in) which I think he has tremendous potential.

“But Mr Pollard, we believe, is the right man at the right time to move our development in white-ball cricket forward.”

Pollard agreed with Skerritt that conversations between the two captains must take place.

“Jason is the red-ball captain and has been the captain of the West Indies team for the last five years or so...in order for anything to move forward, you have to have dialogue, you have to have communication.

“I have played with Jason, he has played under me (and) I have played under him, so I don’t foresee any problems with us having conversations in trying to do what is best for West Indies cricket.”

Pollard’s first assignment as captain will be in November when West Indies play Afghanistan in three T20 matches and three one-day matches.

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