Kieron Pollard has denied he deliberately bowled the no ball that cost fellow West Indian Evin Lewis a century in the Caribbean Premier League, and insisted the St Kitts and Nevis opener had “laughed it off”.
Lewis had raced to 97 from just 32 deliveries in the clash between St Kitts and Pollards’ Barbados Tridents on September 5 and was on strike with the scores level when Pollard took the ball at the beginning of the eighth over.
But the batsman was denied the chance to reach triple figures when Tridents captain Pollard far overstepped and produced a wayward, short-pitched delivery that gifted the Patriots the winning run.
Pollard explained the action was not deliberate, rather, he had overstepped as a result of the extra effort he put into the short ball.
"When I took up that ball in that last delivery, I had one thing in my mind: trying to bowl a delivery, my best delivery - what has been working for me throughout the tournament - a short delivery to see if he [will] have a waft at it, to see if it can go up in the air and we can get him out," Pollard told Sports Max.
"Although we would have lost the game, I was still thinking of getting him out, and using my strength, what I had been doing.
“Unfortunately, (the) stride went for that extra, I stepped over the mark and I think that has been the talking point, of what actually happened, the actual no-ball itself.
"It wasn't intentional, nothing was intentional at any point in time. I acknowledge that we have lost the game but I am not going to just go there and bowl a ball just for him to hit it for six or four, for him to score hundred in that sense.
“That's not my nature, and I don't think any sportsman will just do something to that effect."
Pollard said he had sought out Lewis after the match to wish him and his St Kitts and Nevis Patriots team the best for the CPL finals.
"I just told him (Lewis) 'well played and good luck in the playoffs,” Pollard said.
“He just laughed it off. Evin Lewis... he came up after me in Trinidad to play cricket. We play cricket together.
“I have been the first one to congratulate somebody. I have been the first one to send him a message and always be there no matter what. And this is not going to stop me from continuing to do that.”
Pollard’s delivery was criticised by commentator Danny Morrison, who said he was “disappointed” by the anticlimactic finish.
"(Lewis’ innings) deserved a hundred and I've got to say, as positive and excited as I am, it’s a pretty disappointing way for Pollard to finish the game," Morrison said.
Chasing the Tridents’ 9-128 for victory, St Kitts reached their target without loss in just 7.1 overs.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the CPL confirmed it would look further into the incident in the interests of "fair play and good sportsmanship".
"The Hero CPL are very concerned by any suggestion that the action of any player can be considered to have brought the game or the league into disrepute," the statement read.
"Cricket owes so much of its unique appeal to the spirit in which the game is played and as a cricket tournament the Hero CPL understand the importance of fair play and good sportsmanship."