Pollard takes aim at the board
MUMBAI – Kieron Pollard has slammed the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) over their treatment of the players, saying he and his World Cup-winning teammates are totally fed up with them. He implored WICB officials to lower their egos and display greater sense of compromise towards the players.
Pollard, who is preparing for his return to high profile cricket in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with Mumbai Indians, missed the ICC World Twenty20 World because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament on the right knee sustained during South Africa’s Ram Slam T20 on November 22 last year while playing for Cape Cobras.
“I was very proud of how the boys played during the World Cup. I knew they were on a mission. Despite all the well-advertised problems, the senior guys rose to the occasion and for this tournament, no doubt the IPL experience in the team made a big difference,” the 28-year-old said from his Mumbai Indians camp today.
Pollard, who arrived in India on the day of the final and was a guest with Star Sports in their Mumbai studio, echoed statements from Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle in support of Darren Sammy’s scathing post-match criticism of the WICB.
“Every ball of the semi-final and final I watched and Sammy’s statement touched my heart. We players have had enough,” Pollard stated forcefully.
“I believe I was victimized throughout 2015 and left out of the 50-over World Cup squad. That so-called task force the WICB set up said all three parties in players, WICB and WIPA shared equal blame for the India pull out – yet only myself and Bravo suffered.
“I know what the response will be. We’ll all be told that the financial consequences have affected funding for cricket at all levels in the Caribbean and, whilst smiling on one level, in hushed tones behind your back it’s said that Bravo and Pollard must pay for it. That’s what’s happening. But nobody for WICB or WIPA lost their jobs. There is no shared responsibility or ‘blame’. We as players stand by our actions and our reasons, but we are still open to communication and compromise.”
He further noted that the Twenty20 World Cup win, and the commitment shown to achieve it, should prove to fans and media, that they have always been committed to West Indies cricket, instead of assertions that they just cared about playing for money.
“We have been called all sorts of names, money-grabbing cricketers and mercenaries. But our ambition to play for West Indies and help the team rise and brings smiles on the fans’ faces, as the guys showed in India, has always been there.
“However if you are dealing with a board who shows you no respect, what do you expect us players to do when we get offers to play around the world?
“Why can’t some of the board members lower their egos, if they can learn to compromise with us players we will too. It’s that simple.”
Pollard also said he had all but given up hope of ever playing Test cricket.
“They (selectors) never selected me for Tests and I was labelled a one-day specialist without ever getting a chance to prove myself in the longer format.
“But injuring both ACLs now that would further hinder my ability to play the longer format even more, so I’m pretty sure that horse has bolted now. As a boy growing up, the ambition was always to play Test cricket for West Indies. But considering all these things that I mentioned and the cricketing landscape that has changed so drastically since I was a boy, after a while one realises maybe that dream won’t become a reality,” he said.