West Indian international Kieron Pollard got some good news this week as the Mumbai Indians used their ‘Right to Match’ card to retain the all-rounder for the IPL 2018 season. However, the mood soon turned a bit sour for the mercurial player, as newspapers in West Indies criticised the 30-year-old and a few other players for not participating in the World Cup qualifiers, opting for the Pakistan Super League instead, starting this month.
Kieron Pollard had earlier posted a lengthy emotional message on his Instagram account, in an effort to clear the negativity surrounding him and revealing the truth behind his relationship with the West Indies cricket board. He had posted an image from a newspaper clipping and wrote a very heartfelt message about his desire to play for the national team.
Speaking recently in an interview to ESPNcricinfo, Kieron Pollard further clarified his stand regarding West Indies cricket. He said,
“You can’t decline an offer if you weren’t selected. In the email, I was asked if I was available and if I am, then I need to play the Regional Super 50. I responded saying I would not be able to participate in the Super50. So that was the communication. There was not any discussion as they (CWI) have been claiming. They knew the qualifiers were clashing with the PSL. And they knew which guys were going to the PSL. So they did not even have the discussion with us.”
“In 2016, I was dropped from the ODI team. Since then I have had no idea when or how or if I would be picked. So you (the selectors) ask me now if I am available? You didn’t even say that I am selected. They did not say that you are selected and then we said no, we don’t want to. That never took place.”
Kieron Pollard was clear that he still would love to make a return to the West Indies national team but due to the current state of affairs, it is difficult to say where his future lies.
“Obviously my heart is still to play for West Indies. But with these sort of things happening, it is very, very difficult to say, ‘you know what, I’m just gonna sit and wait’. If there’s a clear plan of going forward we sit, we plan for the year, I am sure things can happen,” he added.
Speaking about the faith shown in him by the Mumbai Indians, with whom Kieron Pollard has been with since his first season in IPL, he said,
“I just want to thank Mumbai Indians for entrusting faith in me once again. Going into the auction then hearing that you were going to be retained, you know you have forged a very good relationship. When you talk of commitment to one, you can be committed to. People stand by you in difficult times, in good times and you reward them in the end. I am happy to be back at Mumbai Indians and looking forward to do special things.”
Even though the West Indies allrounder had prior discussions with the Mumbai Indians, he was never sure what the auction will bring for him. Speaking about his nervousness before the auction, Kieron Pollard said, as reported by NDTV Sports,
“We had discussions before, but in auction you never know. But it gives you that sense of belonging. I also want to say this: playing the leagues gives me the fire inside to continue to perform and continue to show what I can do on a cricket field despite what other people think about me, about my performance, if I am good enough, if they want me or it. It gives me that burning desire. That is the motivating factor. They are not going to dampen my spirits. I am young. I have a lot of cricket left in me whichever cricket I play. I am going to give my 100 percent.”