Explosive all-rounder Kieron Pollard arrived here Saturday to begin his stint with reigning champions Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, fresh from leading Trinbago Knight Riders to their historic capture of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
The 33-year-old Pollard was accompanied by his family and fellow West Indies all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford, who is also on Mumbai’s roster.
Pollard, also West Indies’ white ball captain, is now expected to isolate for up to a week before linking up with the Mumbai squad. This year’s IPL will be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 10 after being moved from India due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Like all cricket tours played since the resumption of international sport, the IPL will be played under strict bio-secure protocols and behind closed doors.
Only last Thursday, Pollard captained TKR to a crushing eight-wicket victory over St Lucia Zouks in the CPL final at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Torouba, as the hosts won the tournament for a fourth time. More significantly, TKR played unbeaten in the campaign to become the first team to achieve the feat.
Pollard snatched four wickets in the final with his slow medium to take his tally for the tournament to eight and also shone with the bat, scoring 207 runs at an average of nearly 52 and a strike rate of 204. One of the most experienced T20 players in franchise cricket, Pollard has scored over 10 000 runs from 512 matches and taken 287 wickets.
In 10 years at the Wankhede, Pollard has played 148 matches for Mumbai, scoring 2755 runs with 14 half-centuries. At Mumbai, Pollard will line up alongside the likes of Indian stars Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah, Australians Chris Lynn and James Pattinson and New Zealander Trent Boult.
Rutherford, a 22-year-old hard-hitting left-hander, is in his first season for Mumbai after spending his maiden IPL campaign last year with Delhi Capitals.
Mumbai will raise the curtain on the season when they clash next Saturday with fellow powerhouses Chennai Super Kings who feature Pollard’s West Indies and TKR teammate, Dwayne Bravo.