by David Harris
Despite a few public detractors, Kieron Pollard says he is on a mission to win the hearts of Barbadians.
The big hard-hitting Trinidadian and West Indies batsman has been appointed captain of the Barbados Tridents in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League tournament which starts at Kensington Oval tomorrow. The blue which he wears onto the field will be a tad different to the red which he is accustomed to donning.
Former government minister Hamilton Lashley has raised objections to Pollard’s captaincy, saying a Barbadian should be leading the Barbados-based franchise. And last week well known retired designer Wayne Cadogan staged a one-man protest in Bridgetown against Pollard’s appointment.
Pollard arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport today for tomorrow’s opening match against the St. Lucia Zouks and told Barbados TODAY he was aware that he would have to dig deep to win over the Barbadian public.
“I am aware that some cricket fans have expressed their displeasure over this appointment as the captain of the local CPL franchise team. I will have to dig deep and win and capture their hearts,” Pollard said.
The burly cricketer said he welcomed the opportunity to play in the LCPL as it was another avenue for West Indian cricketers to showcase their talent.
“This is a welcome opportunity to play against top class players, I am looking forward to doing well, especially after my modest form for the West Indies,” Pollard said, referring to the lean time he had endured in the back-to-back One-Day International Tri-Nation Series which also included Sri Lanka and India, and the five-match series against Pakistan.
Pollard, one of the most feared batsmen in the T20 version of the game, said he was eagerly looking forward to playing for the Barbados Tridents against the Trinidad and Tobago-based Red Steel franchise captained by his compatriot Dwayne Bravo, the West Indies ODI skipper.
“I know most of the guys in the team and it is going to be great to compete against them,” Pollard said.
Meanwhile, two giants of West Indies cricket told Barbados TODAY they were looking forward to the first match of the competition tomorrow.
Fast bowler Andy Roberts, who drove fear into batsmen during his heyday in the 1970s and 1980s and Desmond Haynes, one of the best opening batsmen of all-times are head coaches of the St Lucia Zouks and the Barbados Tridents respectively.
Speaking to journalists at the Crane Beach Hotel today, Roberts said that T20 cricket was a new area for him but he welcomed the opportunity at the age of 62 to be involved in this new format of the game.
“Cricket has changed since my playing days, these guys are fitter and they have the technology but a cricketer is a cricketer whatever form of the game he is playing,” Roberts said.
Roberts expressed the view that Darren Sammy would have an impact as captain of the Zouks.
“He has played with most of the players in the team and I am sure they will rally around him,” Roberts said.
Haynes said that he was happy to have Kieron Pollard as the captain of the Tridents.
“He has been a winner in T20 cricket and I am asking the public to come out and support the team,” Haynes said.