In another reshuffle in West Indies cricket, CWI president Ricky Skerritt has announced Kieron Pollard as the new ODI and T20I captain. Pollard has not played an ODI in nearly three years but CWI has decided to give him the captaincy after Jason Holder led them in the format recently in the World Cup and against India at home.
Skerritt made the announcement in Trinidad on Monday, after the conclusion of a quarterly board meeting in Tobago. He said the board was following the “best possible practices for best possible outcomes”.
“Jason Holder was called by me yesterday morning and we spoke,” Skerritt said at the press conference while sitting next to Pollard and other CWI officials. “He’s a very important force and is still going to be our red-ball captain. Holder will now compete for a place in Pollad’s team and use this as an opportunity to become a better cricketer. Pollard is the right man at the right time to take our white-ball teams forward.
“What impressed me the most about Pollard was his keenness and commitment to give back to the game.”
Pollard last played an ODI in October 2016 but he has been a part of the T20I side recently. In the three T20Is against India, he scored 58, 8* and 49 to finish as the leading run-scorer in the series. He did not bowl in the series, though, even though he has bowled twice in three CPL matches so far for Trinbago Knight Riders.
When Viv Richards was asked last month by the Telegraph (India) if West Indies should have different captains in different formats, he had said: “Judging from what I have seen, Kieron Pollard would have been the best choice as our T20 captain and there are reasons for that. During CPL, he was the best with the bat. Also why I think this may be because a lot of captains were introduced at that time. There were also problems between the Board and the players, no disrespect to Carlos Brathwaite but because of those politics he has fast fallen in captaincy. Pollard would have been a better choice. It’s not that Carlos would not have been a member in the team then… I know Carlos is magnificent as an individual, he is a wonderful guy, highly competitive guy, he will not feel hurt any way. A lot of guys know that Pollard would have been a great choice.”
It was last year that Pollard returned to the T20I West Indies side after more than a year’s gap as the board wanted to try out some high-profile players before the World Cup in England. Pollard and a few other players had fallen out with the board earlier for various reasons, the primary one being the clash between playing domestic cricket and overseas T20 leagues.
However, with a change in personnel at CWI earlier this year, Pollard had expressed his hopes of making the World Cup squad. He was named among the reserves but wasn’t picked in the final squad of 15.
Less than two months after the end of the World Cup, Pollard will now lead West Indies in two formats. His first assignment as captain will be against Afghanistan in November in India where they will play three T20Is and three ODIs before a one-off Test, which Holder will be captain.