Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022

Kieron Pollard Retires From International Cricket, Puts An End To 15-Year-Long Career

Kieron Pollard, who made his debut for West Indies in 2007, last played an international for West Indies against India at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on February this year.

Kieron Pollard played 224 international games for West Indies.
Kieron Pollard played 224 international games for West Indies. BCCI

Star West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard announced his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday. Pollard, who is currently playing for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2022, took to social media to announce that he has put an end to his 15-year-long international cricket career.

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The 34-year-old right-handed all-rounder is a renowned hitter and a medium-fast bowler. He made his debut for West Indies on April 10, 2007 in the side's ODI game against South Africa. Around a year later, Pollard also made his T20I debut in a match between West Indies and Australia.

"After careful deliberation, I've today decided to retire from international cricket," wrote Pollard on Instagram on Wednesday.

"As is the case of many young persons, it was a dream of mine to represent the West Indies team from the time I was a boy of 10 years and I'm proud to have represented West Indies cricket for over 15 years in both the T20I and ODI forms of the game.

"I can still vividly remember making my international debut in 2007 under the leadership of my childhood hero, Brian Lara. Wearing those maroon colours and playing alongside such greats has been a privilege that I never took lightly, giving my heart and soul in every facet of the game - whether bowling, batting or fielding."

However, one of the most feared T20 cricketers the world has ever seen, Pollard's numbers for West Indies remain underwhelming with only 2706 runs at just above 26 and 55 wickets from 123 ODIs along with 1569 runs from 101 T20I internationals at an average of shade over 25. He also took 44 wickets.

One of the biggest six hitters, there wasn't a bowler in world cricket who didn't fear bowling fuller deliveries to Pollard in his prime and also the yorkers which would be effortlessly dug-out for straight sixes. 

He did have his problems against slower bowlers and later as the teams did their homework, the wide yorker would be effectively used to stop his exploits.

While the highlight of his international career would be hitting six sixes of Akila Dananjaya in a T20 international -- third to do so after Herschelle Gibbs and Yuvraj Singh. He was a part of the 2012 ICC T20 World Cup-winning West Indies squad. He never played Test cricket. 

While he had three hundreds in ODIs, Pollard was never the same player for the Windies as he has been for Mumbai Indians or for that matter the other franchises for which he has plied his trade during all these years.

Perhaps, West Indies cricket's financial crunch always made Pollard realise his priorities and that's why whenever he came to represent the national side, he was never at his best.

A 0testimony to that would be 99 sixes in 101 T20Is, less than a six per game and during the later years, his bowling prowess dipped considerably as he fancied himself as a late-order hitter.

As he is closing in on his 35th birthday, Pollard knows that he would need to maximise his earnings by playing leagues all over the world and in the post COVID world, it is very difficult for a family man to hop from one bio-bubble to another with additional burden of international cricket making the job doubly difficult.


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