by STAFF WRITER
April 20, 2022
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Apr 20, CMC – Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Wednesday afternoon thanked white-ball captain Kieron Pollard for his “outstanding service” as a player and captain of the regional side, after the all-rounder called time on his 15-year international career.
CWI, which said Pollard had formally communicated the retirement news prior to making the farewell announcement on social media earlier in the day, added that it respected his decision.
“On behalf of everyone at CWI I would like to express our thanks to Kieron Pollard for his outstanding service to the West Indies ODI and T20I teams over the past 15 years,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt in a statement.
“We respect his decision to retire from international cricket and are especially grateful for the high quality of leadership and commitment he invested in both West Indies teams since his appointment as our white-ball captain in September 2019. We wish him continued success in his career.”
Earlier, in a post on Instagram that included a produced video and text of his retirement announcement, Pollard said he had decided to retire from international cricket after careful deliberation, and he expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to Skerritt “for his unwavering support and encouragement, especially during my time as captain”.
He had also expressed gratitude to the West Indies selectors, management teams, and, in particular, head coach Phil Simmons for seeing his potential and the faith they “steadfastly had in me throughout my career”.
Pollard said being asked to captain both the T20I and ODI squads in 2019, a position he held up until his retirement on Wednesday, was to date, the highest honour bestowed on him and for which he would forever be grateful.
“As captain, I believe that I have led with passion, openness, courage and everything I could possibly give, both on and off the field, without ever compromising my principles and integrity,” the Trinidadian said, admitting that he had been a hard taskmaster in his last three years at the helm of the Caribbean side.
“Respect for my teammates has been a guiding principle of mine and, in turn, I have always felt that reciprocated. This made my job all the more enjoyable and rewarding. For their support, I am ever thankful to all my teammates over the years, both as a player and as captain, and wish each of them continued success in the years ahead.”
Saying that playing for the West Indies was the realization of a dream he had from the age of 10 years old, Pollard recalled his international debut in 2007 under the leadership of his childhood hero, Brian Lara. The 34-year-old said wearing the maroon and playing alongside greats like Lara had been a privilege he never took lightly, “giving my heart and soul in every facet of the game, whether bowling, batting or fielding”.
He added that through the highs and lows of the game, he always felt the unwavering support of West Indies cricket fans.
During his career, the all-rounder was one of the most powerful batters on the international stage and revolutionized the way T20 cricket was played, CWI said, noting that was recently demonstrated when he struck six sixes in an over against Sri Lanka at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua in March last year.
His finest hour, the cricketing body said, came in 2012 as a member of the West Indies team that won the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup when they defeated Sri Lanka in the final at the Premadasa Stadium.
Pollard, who is currently in India representing Mumbai Indians in the ongoing 2022 Indian Premier League, made his international debut for West Indies during the 2007 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and played 123 ODIs. He made 2,706 runs with a top score of 119 vs India in Chennai in 2011. He also took 55 wickets.
The Trinidadian made his T20I debut against Australia at Kensington Oval in 2008 and appeared in 101 matches. He scored 1,569 runs – including 99 sixes, and also took 42 wickets. His top score was 75 not out against New Zealand in Auckland in 2020; while his best figures were 4-25 against Ireland at Warner Park, St Kitts in 2020.