Glowing tribute was paid to Red Force cricket team captain Kieron Pollard when the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board honoured the 33-year-old allrounder after he was selected by the ICC on their “T20 Team of the Decade.”
In an impromptu ceremony on Tuesday in the presence of fellow members of the 2020 Super50 Cup squad and team officials at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva, Pollard was hailed as someone who has made a great impact in world cricket.
President of the T&T Cricket Board, Azim Bassarath led the tributes by giving a short history of Pollard's brilliant career starting in 2006 when he made his debut for the national team against Barbados in a four-day regional match.
Since then, Bassarath said, the hard-hitting batsman, has never looked back and graduated to become one of the most explosive players in the shortest form of the game.
Pollard, a medium-fast bowler, initially caught the eye in the Stanford T20 tournament in Antigua & Barbuda and was a part of the national team which won the 2008 title which earned them a place at the prestigious Champions Trophy tournament in India.
Bassarath said it was there that Pollard announced himself on the world stage with a spectacular inning of 54 in just 18 balls which helped propel TT to the final of the competition.
“Since then Pollard has over the past 13 years established himself as a key member of IPL champions Mumbai Indians which he captained in last season's competition in the United Arab Emirates when regular skipper Rohit Sharma was injured,” said Bassarath.
Also late last year the Trinbago Knight Riders under Pollard captured the Caribbean Premier League T20 title, defeating the St Lucia Patriots in the final at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba.
“Pollard has been a role model for all young cricketers and is admired all over the world playing in the respective T20 leagues which shows that the region can produce cricketers of the highest quality,” said Bassarath.
“The T&T Cricket Board is well-pleased with Pollard's latest achievement and as he joins a special group of cricketers with only Chris Gayle of Jamaica being the other Caribbean cricketer to make the grade,” said Bassarath.
In response, Pollard said he was honoured to be recognised by the T&T Cricket Board and urged up and coming cricketers to work hard if they ima to become successful on the national, regional and world stage.
“The motivation is there for you as the top cricketers are well-paid and you get the opportunity to travel all around the world plying your trade. Apart from T20, there is now T10s which further opens up opportunities for you which you must work hard to take,” said Pollard.
He said the Red Force cricketers who leave for Antigua & Barbuda on January 29 for the tournament from February 7 to 27 will be ready to accept the challenge of playing in a bubble because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The West Indies white-ball team captain said that the Red Force squad which has a strong combination of experience and youthful talent was keen to bring the Super50 Cup back home after a five-year drought.
Pollard urged the players who did not make the final 15 for the Super50 to continue working at their game and not be discouraged as their chance will come and they must be prepared to make full use of it.
In attendance at the short function on Tuesday was Cricket Operations Officer of the TTCB Dudnath Ramkessoon, coach of the Red Force David Furlonge, team manager Sebastian Edwards and TTCB coaches Kelvin Williams, and David Williams, the former West Indies wicketkeeper.