Sun | Dec 10, 2023

‘Wearing those maroon colours’

• Pollard announces retirement with heartfelt video message• CWI thanks 15-year veteran for ‘outstanding’ service

Published:Thursday | April 21, 2022 | 12:11 AMPaul-Andre Walker/Sports Editor
Kieron Pollard.
Kieron Pollard.
Kieron Pollard in action.
Kieron Pollard in action.
Ricky Skerritt
Ricky Skerritt
West Indies ODI Captain Kieron Pollard shows off the trophy after his side completes a three-nil series win over Sri Lanka in Antigua.
West Indies ODI Captain Kieron Pollard shows off the trophy after his side completes a three-nil series win over Sri Lanka in Antigua.

KIERON POLLARD’S retirement from international cricket marks the end of an era for West Indies cricket.

The era included the likes of Christopher Henry Gayle and Dwayne Bravo, the rise of franchise cricket and the West Indies’ struggles to compete, the ‘banishing’ of players determined to make a better livelihood of the game they love, but through all of it, Pollard has remained grateful.

In an Instagram video message, Pollard said his decision to retire came after “careful deliberation”, and that is absolutely believable.

After years of fights with successive boards over the balancing act between franchise cricket and loyalty to the West Indies cause, Pollard, who had been dropped, arguably for reasons outside of the game itself, had finally come home and proved a strong source of leadership in the West Indies dressing room.

So strong, in fact, that his acceptance as the region’s white-ball captain has rarely found opposition.

It is at that point, with the Caribbean finally agreeing that he is good for the region’s game, that he has called time.

“After careful deliberation, I’ve today decided to retire from international cricket,” said the skipper affectionately called Polly.

Pollard then went on to recall the start of his on-and-off love affair with West Indies Cricket under one of his heroes, the Trinidad and Tobago great, Brian Charles Lara.

“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,” said Pollard.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) will now need to turn its attention to the next generation of leaders and may already have found Pollard’s heir apparent in young Nicholas Pooran.


But before that, thanks are in order, and CWI president Ricky Skerritt, the man who it is largely believed accounts for Pollard’s revival in West Indies cricket, wasted no time in producing same.

“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 fifteen (15) years. 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,” read a message from Skerritt.

The big all-rounder played 123 One-Day Internationals for the West Indies from 2007 to 2022, scoring 2,706 runs at an average of 26.01.

Those statististics include three centuries, the biggest of which was 119 against India in 2011, and 55 wickets.

In T20Is, Pollard scored 1,569 runs, striking at a healthy average 135.14, with a high score of 75 not out.

Pollard’s 224 international games is the second most of any international cricketer to have ever played Test cricket.

Only South Africa’s David Miller, with 238 matches under his belt, has played more.

Pollard became captain of the West Indies white-ball teams in 2019 and led the side to series wins against Afghanistan in India, Ireland at home, Sri Lanka both home and away, and recently, against England in the Caribbean.

The former skipper led West Indies in both formats through 61 games, winning 25 and losing 31.

Pollard was also part of the West Indies team that won the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in 2012.

The all-rounder is also one of only three players to hit six sixes in a T20I, doing so against Sri Lankan spinner Akila Dananjaya last year.

South Aftica’s Herschelle Gibbs and India’s Yuvraj Singh are the other batsmen to have done so.