Kieron Who?

24 01 2010

Kieron Pollard is a name not known by many outside cricketing circles. Even within these aforesaid circles, many people would pause for a minute saying ‘I know that name… hang on. Is he West Indian? I can’t remember exactly who he is though.’

Pollard is one of the new breed of cricketers renowned for their striking of a cricket ball in much the same way that Babe Ruth was renowned for his ability to hit a baseball. He recently sold for the maximum of $750,000 at the IPL auction last week for the 2010 series. Bought by Mumbai Indians, the astonishing thing is that a year ago he would have been lucky to have been bought for $50,000 or even at all. It is not only the IPL that has been drooling over his striking ability though; he played for the South Australian Redbacks in the Big Bash Twenty20 competition recently and today it has been announced he is signing for Somerset Sabres for the English 20/20 competition. This exceptional level of interest all stems from one innings Pollard played in the 20/20 Champions League back in late 2009. (The Champions League, for those who were confused by yet another banal 20/20 competition, is the winners and runners up of all domestic 20/20’s come together to find out who is the best in the world). He scored 54 in 18 balls to rescue his side from a lost cause and win the game.

Pollard appears to be one of the new breed of almost exclusively 20/20 itinerant players. Here at the Compulsive Hooker, we don’t blame him for wanting to cash in on his fame but we worry for the future of cricket. (We know this is a constant refrain on this site so we won’t go into too much detail here….) With 20/20 being an inherently risky form of the game from a batsmen’s perspective, it is not unreasonable to expect that Pollard will have a couple of lean tournaments in a row, meaning that his earning power is then heavily reduced. In fact in 20/20’s he actually only averages around 17 which is hardly an awe inspiring figure so $750,000 seems far too much really.

It will be interesting to see whether Pollard ever makes the leap from 20/20 star to fully fledged test cricketer. He undoubtedly has talent and even a reasonable record at first class level, but with the emphasis being on trying to hit everything out the park, it is doubtful whether he will learn the mental skills needed for test cricket.




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