KIERON Pollard’s ability to lift this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 titles in quick succession is clear confirmation of the extraordinary athletic talent he possesses.
To achieve this feat, the explosive all-rounder endured two lengthy durations competing in a bio-secure bubble, here in Trinidad for the CPL, and in India for the just concluded tourney.
Three days after captaining the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) franchise to the CPL crown on September 10, Pollard arrived in India to begin his stint with reigning IPL champions Mumbai Indians.
On Tuesday, Pollard and his Mumbai Indians outfit successfully defended their trophy by getting past Delhi Capitals by five wickets in the final.
Of the 16 matches he played this time around, Pollard scored 268 runs at a powerful strike rate of over 190 and averaged 64.75 during the league phase of the tournament. He also took four wickets.
His highest score was 60 not out with a batting average of 53.60. He only scored one fifty this year but launched 22 sixes and 15 fours. This was his 11th year competing at the IPL and his fifth IPL trophy.
After the historic win, Pollard said, “It’s a great feeling. No one sees the planning and training. It’s pressure playing for a franchise like this.
“The West Indian player also took over the captainship role when Rohit Sharma had to sit out for a few games due to a hamstring injury.
“The number of trophies, the amount of work, the amount of players who go on to play for their countries, I think we’ll have to say so [that this is the best T20 franchise]. Kudos to the owners and management. Long may that continue,” Pollard added.
Pollard even teased Chennai Super Kings all-rounder and his fellow West Indian Dwayne Bravo on camera as he said that CSK star was behind him in the number of T20 titles. With fifteen titles to his name, Pollard now has the most T20I titles.
Bravo was forced to miss out on the majority of the tournament after suffering a groin injury in the early stages of competition.
“Dwayne Bravo you are behind me now (about the number of T20 titles), I have to say that on camera,” Pollard teased his fellow WI. Owing to the covid19 pandemic, Pollard, like all other cricketers, was mandated to undergo quarantine procedures in both countries and restrict his movement to bio-secure bubbles.
According to TT Cricket Board (TTCB) president Azim Bassarath, the 33-year-old has proven to be a cut above the rest, amidst the pandemic.
“Pollard has shown a great deal of character both on and off the field for the past few months. Having played in two bubbles, one after the other, so quickly, shows a great deal of character on his part.
“He also assisted a great deal in the three of four matches that he captained the team. Indeed I want to congratulate Pollard on this victory and to let him know that he has made a significant contribution to his team’s IPL victory this year,” Bassarath said.
The TTCB boss said Mumbai Indians demonstrated they were the top team in the tournament and, over the years, would have gained the experience and the world class players for the team.
“It was no surprise to me that they came out victorious in the tournament. Pollard would have played a pivotal role in them winning the tournament. He made tremendous contributions in one or two games when he batted. He came up trumps for them when they needed him,” added Bassarath.