Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Kieron Pollard has accused Cricket West Indies of attempting to portray him and a few other select cricketers as “money hungry mercenaries”.
Pollard’s comments come after Cricket West Indies announced the squad for the World Cup Qualifiers. In the release, chairman of selectors Courtney Browne said: “Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Darren Bravo and Andre Russell however indicated that they were unavailable to help us qualify as their priority was playing in the Pakistan Super League.”
However, Pollard disputed Browne’s remarks, saying that Cricket West Indies only contacted the players earlier this month to see if they were available for the qualifiers.
As a result, Pollard pointed out that he had already secured contracts to play in the Big Bash League (BBL) and Pakistan Super League (PSL).
“Despite performing well in the 2016 tri-series, when I was handed a recall, where the team got to the final, for the next series in Dubai, Denesh Ramdin and I were dropped, with the selectors saying I showed no ‘commitment to batting’,” Pollard told Cricbuzz. “Now, after only playing two of the 11 West Indies ODI series since the 2015 World Cup, suddenly after months of either zero or limited communication about my ODI future, you (selectors) want me to drop everything and play [in the] qualifiers.
“These are the ridiculous situations they consistently put players in, then they go to the media with the clear attempt to paint us as money hungry mercenaries and (say that we are) not committed to West Indies cricket.”
To further illustrate his point, Pollard noted how the teams selected for the tours of England and New Zealand were all over the place.
“When the selectors picked that team in England, while Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels were recalled, the Bravo brothers and Narine were contacted about playing – I wasn’t,” he said. “I was told initially that they were not going to pick me for the T20 game and that only captain Carlos Brathwaite would be flown in.”
Finding himself in a confusing situation, Pollard contacted Browne in order to find out whether he was still on the selectors’ radar, or whether he was free to feature in domestic Twenty20 competitions around the world.
“I told the chairman I am a grown man and have decisions to make,” Pollard said. “I wasn’t demanding that he pick me, just wanted clarity on if I can now seek to play T20 leagues freely and not expect to be picked. And, whether there were different rules for players in this amnesty.