MI legend Kieron Pollard announces retirement from international cricket

Kieron Pollard, the West Indies white-ball skipper, announced his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday, though he will continue to freelance in private T20 and T10 leagues throughout the world.

Pollard, 34, made his ODI debut in 2007 and played his final series against India, a country that has become his second home thanks to his lengthy affiliation with the Mumbai Indians.

“Hi all, after careful deliberation, I have decided to retire from international cricket. It was a dream of mine to play for West Indies since I was a 10-year-old boy and I am proud to represent the West Indies for over 15 years in T20 and ODI format of the game,” stated Pollard.

While he is regarded as one of the best T20 cricketers in the world, his records for the West Indies remain unimpressive, with only 2706 runs at just over 26 and 55 wickets from 123 ODIs, as well as 1569 runs at just over 25 from 101 T20Is. He also had 44 wickets to his name.

Pollard was one of the best six-hitters of all time, and no bowler in the world feared bowling fuller deliveries to him in his prime, as well as yorkers that could be dug-out for straight sixes.

He did had issues against slower bowlers, and as the teams done their homework, the wide yorker became a powerful tool in halting his exploits.

While striking six sixes of Akila Dananjaya in a T20I, third only to Herschelle Gibbs and Yuvraj Singh, would be the peak of his international career. He was a member of the West Indies team that won the 2012 ICC T20 World Cup. He never played in a Test match.

Pollard was never the same player for the Windies as he was for the Mumbai Indians or any of the other franchises for whom he has played over the years, despite having three hundreds in ODIs.

Perhaps it was West Indies cricket’s financial crisis that helped Pollard realise his priorities, and that’s why he was never at his best when he came to represent the country.

99 sixes in 101 T20Is, fewer than a six per game, and his bowling prowess declined significantly in later years as he saw himself as a late-order batter, are testaments to it.

Pollard, who is approaching his 35th birthday, understands that he will need to maximise his earnings by playing leagues all over the world, and in the post-COVID world, it is extremely difficult for a family man to jump from one bio-bubble to another, especially with the added burden of international cricket.