West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards believes veteran T20 player Kieron Pollard would make a better option for team captain than current skipper Carlos Brathwaite.

The 31-year-old Brathwaite was named captain of the squad in 2016, following the controversial dismal of World Cup-winning captain Darren Sammy and his heroics against England in the final.  The Barbadian has, however, struggled since taking charge of the unit, winning just 11 and losing 17 of his matches in charge of the team for a 36 percent win rate.

Despite being out of the squad for a couple of years, Pollard has continued to be one of the game’s most reliable players, recently returning to score 115 in a three-match series against India.  The Windies, however, lost the series 3-0.

“Given his experience in that format, I would have liked to see Kieron Pollard as the best choice for our T20 captain. But he is not, for there are some reasons for that. During the CPL, he is the best with the bat and his fielding talent,” Richards recently told the India Times.

“There is no disrespect to Carlos Brathwaite, but he probably would have been part of the team still. It was a political scenario after Darren Sammy exited the captaincy. Brathwaite is magnificent as an individual and highly competitive, but I know a lot of players in that team who believe Pollard would have been a great choice as captain.”

 

 

Windies skipper, Carlos Brathwaite believes his unit could have made a fight of the first T20 international against India in Lauderhill on Saturday had there been but a few better decisions with the bat.

According to the skipper, the T20 side, stacked with new-ish faces, not for the first time, did not adapt to the conditions they were faced with after early-morning showers made batting a little tougher.

“Once again don't think we assessed conditions,” said Brathwaite after the game the West Indies lost by four wickets.

Batting first, the ‘home’ side amassed a paltry 95-9 from their 20 overs, thanks in large part to Kieron Pollard’s run-a-ball 49.

Sent to bat at number four, Pollard showed experience in waiting for the right moments to get the scoring going, but fell in the 20th over.

Brathwaite paid attention.

“Kudos to Kieron coming back into the team. He showed his experience,” he said.

“Had we made 130, it would've been a different game. We batted ourselves out of the game,” said a disappointed Brathwaite.

The skipper admits that the West Indies style of being aggressive up front would not change, but that there were still better decisions to be made when doing so.

“We have to play positively. The message will continue to be to keep intent, but we need to have better shot selection and awareness,” said the skipper.

India skipper Virat Kohli was not too perturbed by his side’s difficulty in overhauling a small total against the West Indies in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.

Playing in the first T20 of an Indian tour of the Caribbean, Kohli’s side ran through the West Indies top order, leaving veteran all-rounder, Kieron Pollard, the only man to offer any resistance with his run-a-ball 49, that took the home team to 95-9.

The total seemed too low to be a problem for the powerfully stacked Indian batting line-up but at 69-5 when Kohli picked out Pollard at mid-wicket, the game was very much on.

India would eventually make their way to 98-6, a comfortable enough victory with 16 balls to spare, but it was tougher than it should have been.

“We would've liked to chase it four down, but we wanted to take risks and take the scoreboard moving. As the ball got older, strike rotation became key. It's just about putting in solid performance, ensure the guys who play contribute in some way or the other,” said Kohli.

The Indian skipper had lots to say about his side’s bowling and fielding, pointing out that they did well under the conditions.

“Bowlers were on top throughout, variations were superb,” he said.

The Indian skipper gave special praise to theDelhi Daredevil’s paceman Navdeep Saini, who ended with figures of 3-17. Saini was responsible for the important wickets of Nicholas Pooran, Pollard, and Shimron Hetmyer.

“Navdeep is from Delhi, he's come a long way. Plays the IPL as well, had a great season. Raw talent, hardly any bowlers who can bowl 150 clicks, hopefully he builds on from here,” he said.

Navdeep Saini enjoyed a wonderful international debut as India edged out West Indies by four wickets in a low-scoring Twenty20 contest in Lauderhill, Florida.

Saini (3-17) struck with successive deliveries in his first over and the seamer finished off the Windies' innings with a wicket-maiden that included the scalp of Kieron Pollard, whose 49 represented more than half of his side's paltry total of 95-9.

On a sluggish pitch, India then lost wickets at regular intervals, but they nevertheless reached their target with 16 balls to spare, Rohit Sharma's 24 the most substantial contribution to the chase.

Victory represents a welcome boost for India after their painful semi-final defeat to New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup. 

Uncertainty surrounds the future of the team's coaching staff in the wake of that loss, while skipper Virat Kohli rubbished rumours of a feud between himself and Rohit earlier this week.

After Kohli had won the toss on Saturday, the Windies lost openers John Campbell and Evin Lewis for ducks, setting the tone for a dismal batting display in the first contest of a three-match series.

Nicholas Pooran briefly sparkled, with two sixes in his 20, but he and Shimron Hetmyer then fell to consecutive Saini deliveries, leaving the debutant on a hat-trick.

Saini could not manage that feat, but he finished his day's work in style by trapping Pollard lbw in a run-less 20th over. The experienced all-rounder had been the only man to offer any prolonged resistance for the Windies, striking four maximums in his run-a-ball innings.

Shikhar Dhawan fell cheaply in reply on his return from the thumb injury that prematurely ended his World Cup campaign and India were in trouble at 32-3 when Rohit and Rishabh Pant (0) holed out to successive balls from Sunil Narine.

Kohli and Manish Pandey contributed 19 apiece to edge India closer, though, and their victory was sealed by a Washington Sundar six.

The uncapped Anthony Bramble has been named in West Indies' squad for the first two Twenty20 games against India along with recalled duo Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Bramble could make his debut in a three-match series that will be staged in Florida and Guyana next month.

Spinner Narine and all-rounder Pollard come back into the fold, but opener Chris Gayle made himself unavailable as he is playing in the GT20 in Canada. 

John Campbell should get his chance at the top of the order, while spinner Khary Pierre is also in the 14-man squad.

Andre Russell will have to pass a fitness test after a left knee injury cut short his participation in the Cricket World Cup.

"This squad is an excellent balance of experience and youth," said interim chairman of selectors Robert Haynes.

"It's not just about the present – the India tour of the West Indies – but we are also looking at the T20 World Cup coming up next year and it is important that we find the right combination of players and the right formula for defending our title.

"We have to make sure that we put certain things in place now, so that when it comes to picking the squad for the T20 World Cup, it becomes easier, so we are giving more players the opportunity to play and get the exposure."

 

West Indies squad:

Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Anthony Bramble, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas.

West Indies cricket selectors have recalled Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard to the squad to play the first two T20 internationals against India early next month.

The West Indies selectors have rewarded Sunil Ambris and John Campbell for the good work they did during the Walton Tri-Series in Ireland which concluded on Friday. 

Jasprit Bumrah said Mumbai Indians never doubted their ability to claim a record fourth Indian Premier League title after they dethroned Chennai Super Kings in the most dramatic fashion.

CSK looked set to retain a trophy they have won three times when they needed nine off the last over to reach their victory target of 150 with Shane Watson at the crease.

MS Dhoni's side required four off two deliveries after Watson - man of the match in last year's final having smashed an unbeaten century - was run out for 80 off 59 balls when coming back for a second after he had been dropped twice by Rahul Chahar.

Lasith Malinga held his nerve by trapping Shardul Thakur leg before with a slower-ball yorker off the last delivery to seal victory two years after Mumbai were also crowned champions with a last-ball win.

Man of the match Bumrah, who removed Dwayne Bravo from a penultimate over that cost only nine runs and claimed 2-14, says self-belief was key to Mumbai coming out on top.

"I'm really happy, we always believed in our team," said the India paceman.

"Whenever we are in tough situations we back each other, stay close and have confidence in each and every individual. On a given day anybody can win us the game. It's a great feeling and we are really happy."

Kieron Pollard top scored with 41 not out off only 25 balls to get the Indians up to 149-8 and the all-rounder knew his knock could be decisive.

"These are the games you want to perform in, they are the games that people remember," said the West Indies international.

"Playing in so many finals, you know the most runs you get on the board, pressure is going to be on them. My aim was to try and stay in until the end. Then Bumrah and Malinga bowled brilliantly, taking the game away from CSK."

Lasith Malinga produced an outstanding exhibition of death bowling to secure a dramatic one-run win over Chennai Super Kings and seal a record fourth Indian Premier League title for Mumbai Indians.

Chennai needed only nine runs off the last over to retain their crown and become the first team to win the IPL four times, but Malinga held his nerve to deny MS Dhoni's side.

CSK required four to win off two balls after Shane Watson was run out for 80 having hesitated going for a second as the tension built in the final over in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Shardul Thakur struck the penultimate delivery for two, but was trapped leg before by the ice-cool Malinga off the final ball to spark huge celebrations from the Indians and their supporters.

There was nobody more relieved than Indians teenager Rahul Chahar, who dropped Watson on 42 and 55.

Deepak Chahar, Rahul's cousin, earlier took 3-26 and Imran Tahir claimed 2-23 to restrict Mumbai to 149-8, Kieron Pollard top scoring with 41 not out off 25 balls.

Watson was named man of the match after smashing an unbeaten century in last year's final against Sunrisers Hyderabad and looked set to see CSK home again, but fellow veteran Malinga was the hero on this occasion.

Chennai have now lost three out of four deciders they have played against Mumbai, who were worthy champions after being top at the end of the regular season.

Trinbago Knight Riders announced today that they have signed Kieron Pollard as their Marquee Player for the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which will be played from 4 September 4 to 12 October 2019. 

Top Windies T20 batsman Kieron Pollard will return to his home nation of Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the new Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

The 31-year-old previously represented the twin-island republic in Twenty20 cricket as part of a national team that contested the now defunct Caribbean Twenty20 league.  Since the inception of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) the big batsman has plied his trade elsewhere.  He spent five seasons with Barbados Tridents and the last one with St Lucia Stars.

Pollard has, however, been named the franchise player for the Trinbago Knight Riders for the upcoming edition of the tournament.

"We are delighted to welcome Pollard back home and it's great to continue our efforts to bring as many Trini boys home as possible," Venky Mysore, the team director, said in a statement.

"I can't wait for the reaction of the fans when Pollard takes the field at our opening game on 4 September."

The Knight Riders, who have won the two previous editions of the tournament, previously had both T&T nationals Darren and Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin and spinner Sunil Narine in its ranks as T&T nationals.  Pollard previously captained the Barbados Tridents.

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara believes the current form of senior players in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign is a real fillip for the region.

With the 2019 World Cup just a little over a month away Windies stars Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have put on some impressive displays with the bat in the IPL to date.  After starting slowly for Mumbai Indians Pollard has picked up steam in recent week, hitting a crucial 46 against Sunrisers Hyderabad before an outrageous 83 against Kings XI Punjab.

Russell has been one of the players of the tournament to date, after scoring 377 runs and claiming seven wickets in 9 matches.

It remains to be seen whether any of the players, who have been outside of the One Day International set-up for several months, will be selected to the final Windies squad.  Lara, however, believes the form of the players makes them nice options to have.

“Cricketers from the West Indies have been doing well in this edition of the Indian Premier League. A few players from other nations are also making good contributions. Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have been pretty consistent and that augurs well for West Indies cricket. Even Chris Gayle has fired on a couple of occasions, but you need to look out for guys who are making contribution regularly,” Lara said.

“The West Indies players bring their whole-hearted effort in every performance. They are not playing for the West Indies national team, so the IPL is their opportunity to shine.”

 

Newly appointed Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt has insisted that the newly formed body is determined to dispel the 'myth’ that several of the team’s senior players are no longer interested in representing the team.

In recent years several of the region’s most high-profile players have found themselves at odds with the regional program’s selectors as heavy T20 league schedule has often clashed with the international game.  For various reasons T20 stars like Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, who retired from the sport last year, have not consistently represented the region.

Since taking over the office, however, Skerritt and his administration have dismissed the Courtney Browne-led selection panel and installed Robert Haynes.  The administration has since begun to reach out to the players, including Bravo.

“There's a myth that our elite players don't want to play for the West Indies. Over the last couple of weeks, we've engaged several of them and prior to the election, I personally engaged several of them and the desire and hunger to play for their West Indian colours is as strong as ever,” Skerritt said.

“What we have to do is to make sure we put systems in place that can respect the players and help the players to respect their responsibility when they are actually involved in West Indies cricket, and do it in a way that is clearly communicated and that there's mutual respect and understanding,” he added.

“I have no doubt that in the hearts and in the minds of all of these players, the performance of the West Indies team and being involved in a successful West Indies team setup is important to them.”

Windies all-rounder Kieron Pollard has admitted he is hopeful of a recall to the regional team, following the recent change of regime and appointment of a fresh panel of selectors.

Newly appointed Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt announced several changes to the administration on Thursday.  Robert Haynes was named to replace Courtney Browne as chairman of selectors, with Floyd Reifer replacing Richard Pybus as interim Windies coach to name a few.  In addition, the entire panel of selectors has been dismissed.

Pybus, who led the team to a surprise win over England in the Test series and a 2-2 draw in the One Day Internationals (ODI), was expected to take the team to the World Cup.  The 31-year-old Pollard, who was previously called to the Windies squad ahead of the ICC World Cup qualifiers, was not expected to factor in the occasion. 

The Trinidadian had made himself unavailable prior to the World Cup qualifiers, after taking issue with just being given four days to respond and prior commitments to take part in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).  The player, however, continued to express an interest in continuing to represent the team and hopes the latest changes will give him another chance.

 “There has been a lot of turmoil in West Indies cricket over the last couple of years. I was blacklisted. We have seen in the last couple of weeks there’s a change. The most I can do every time I step on the cricket field is try to put runs on the board,” he said in reference to the appointment of Skerritt as CWI president.

“We have a new chairman of selectors, there’s a new president of the cricket board, and as I said you take it as it comes. There’s people there who have the job to select and whatever and let’s see how that goes. I’m 31 years old, I have cricket left in me. Gayle is still playing, he’s 39, and he’s whacking it all around.”

Pollard recently showed plenty of quality in the IPL, smashing an astounding 83 off just 31 balls for Mumbai Indians, which upstaged Gayle’s Kings XI Punjab earlier this week. 

Stand-in captain Kieron Pollard led from the front in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday, helping Mumbai Indians make it three wins in a row with victory over Kings XI Punjab.

With Rohit Sharma rested due to a tight leg muscle, Pollard was charged with leading Mumbai and he did so with aplomb, hitting a stunning 83 to help secure a dramatic three-wicket triumph.

Pollard crushed a massive 10 sixes is in his 31-ball innings, but a loose hook to deep midwicket left Mumbai needing four to win off as many balls.

Rahul Chahar and Alzarri Joseph reduced that equation down to two off the final delivery and the latter produced the winning blow, a straight drive allowing the pair to scamper through and seal victory.

Pollard strode to the crease with his side 56-2 and in need of an injection of pace, and he duly delivered with a destructive display that saw Sam Curran take much of the punishment.

Hardik Pandya (19) offered him some support but poor decision-making from the Kings XI bowlers allowed Pollard to keep the home crowd believing.

Mumbai's successful run chase came after KL Rahul had reminded everyone of his batting talent with a first IPL century at the top of the order.

Rahul, as well as India team-mate Pandya, had been called before a Board of Control for Cricket in India ombudsman to explain controversial comments made on a television show.

Any possible disciplinary action did not weigh on his shoulders, though, as he hit an unbeaten 64-ball hundred to help Kings XI reach 197-4 from their 20 overs – ably assisted by Chris Gayle.

However, their 116-run opening stand was not enough as Kings XI slipped to a third defeat of the campaign.
 

POLLARD PUNISHES CURRAN

Curran had claimed an IPL hat-trick earlier in the competition but there were no heroics this time for the England all-rounder as Pollard targeted him.

The West Indian launched six maximums off Curran's bowling and added two fours to make it 44 runs in boundaries off the 20-year-old.

Curran – who was announced as one of Wisden's cricketers of the year earlier on Wednesday – finished with figures of 1-54 from his four overs – his worst of the campaign to date.

WINDIES STARS BRING THE RUNS

If Pollard's brutal display of hitting helped finish the game in style, Gayle's equally impressive knock had kicked things off beautifully.

While Rahul carefully picked the gaps, left-hander Gayle bludgeoned the Mumbai bowling like only he can.

His 36-ball 63 included seven maximums and looked like being another match-winning display until Pollard’s second-innings fireworks.

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