West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard is poised to turn out for Northamptonshire in this year’s Vitality Blast, after signing up for several games with the East Midlands outfit.
The 32-year-old all-rounder is set to play eight matches starting from June 5 in the tournament, which runs from May 28 to September 5.
In addition to boosting Northamptonshire’s title chances, Pollard said he would be using the campaign to further hone his preparation for the T20 World Cup in Australia starting in October.
“Now visa criteria permitting, I see this as a wonderful opportunity to be back in England again playing in the action-packed Vitality Blast tournament. I want to thank Northants for welcoming me to their group of exciting players.” Pollard said.
“I know they have some amazing fans and I look forward to entertaining them and bringing more success to the club.”
He added: “Of course as captain of the West Indies team and defending champions I have one eye on the ICC T20 World Cup later this year in Australia, but I can assure you my focus will be 100 per cent on winning games for Northants when I arrive in June.”
Pollard is one of the most sought-after T20 players, having played extensively in the Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians, and also turned out in the Australian Big Bash and the Bangladesh Premier League.
Overall, he has played a record 499 Twenty20s and is just 34 runs shy of becoming only the second batsman to reach 10 000 runs in the format.
Head coach David Ripley said a player with Pollard’s all-round qualities would be an asset to Northamptonshire’s upcoming campaign.
“I’ve spoken to many people about Kieron and the biggest factor you get from everyone is that he’s a winner. He’s got a fantastic record in winning t20 comps, just an absolute competitor.” Ripley said.
“It helps the teams he plays for that he can bowl the big overs, field in key positions and whack it out of any cricket ground in the world.”
Added captain Josh Cobb: “It’s really exciting to have a player with the quality of Pollard joining the Steelbacks. His stats are unbelievable. I think it’s only Chris Gayle who’s scored more runs than him in T20 cricket, so to have him with us is huge.”
Veteram Gayle has amassed 13 296 runs from 404 matches. (CMC)