If your name is Moises Henriques, then I suggest averting your eyes for a little while. Kieron Pollard is one of the most destructive batting all-rounders in the world at the moment. His brash, bash and smash style has tormented opposition attacks for years. He can clear fences with one hand. He is one of the highest paid cricketers in the world. And he is just 25.
Pollard burst onto the scene in 2006 with impressive performances in the lucrative Stanford T20 tournament, as well as the domestic first-class competition in the West Indies. His 83 off just 38 balls against Nevis in the semi-final made him one of the most talked about teenagers on the planet. His first-class debut was just as special, as Pollard smashed his way to an age-defying 126. It was clear from the get go that Pollard cared little about crowd safety; his first scoring shot was a huge six.
Selectors could not ignore his blistering form, and Pollard was selected for the 2007 World Cup. In a controversial move, Pollard wasn’t picked until the must win clash with South Africa. By the end of the first innings, the match was over. AB de Villiers and co led South Africa to a monumental total of 356. The Windies tried their best, but fell well short of the target. Pollard only managed 10 in the failed run chase.
The 2009 Champions League Trophy launched Pollard’s career like nothing else. Playing for Trinidad & Tobago, Pollard caught the eye of Australian fans when he obliterated Henriques to all parts of Hyderabad. The hulking West Indian finished with 54 off just, wait for it, 18 deliveries. It was one of the most brutal knocks in recent memory, and sparked plenty of interest amongst the IPL franchises. The Mumbai Indians bought him for $750,000, making him the highest paid man in the tournament that year.
Pollard’s statistics don’t lie. He boasts a strike rate of just under 97 in ODI cricket, while the big hitting batsman rates even better in the T20 format, striking at 145.39. He has combined for 103 sixes in white ball cricket.
Pollard’s bowling is a grossly underrated facet of his game. His mix of slower balls and reverse swinging Yorkers makes him a very difficult bowler to get a hold of. Throw in his athletic fielding, and it is easy to realise why he is one of the most sought out players in the game.
Australian fans would have caught a glimpse of the big man during the KFC T20 Big Bash League. Playing for the Adelaide Strikers, Pollard thrilled crowds with his huge hitting against the Melbourne Stars, where he smashed Clive Rose for a pair of hundred metres sixes on his way to 65*. His athletic caught and bowled to remove Ben Rohrer was another memorable moment, while people are still scratching their heads as to how he managed to run out Ben Cutting.
Just for good measure, Pollard returned home to help guide Trinidad & Tobago to yet another Caribbean T20 League title.