New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) At the 2010 IPL player auction, Mumbai Indians (MI), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were locked in a fierce bidding war for West Indies all rounder Kieron Adrian Pollard. Eventually, Mumbai Indians grabbed him for a whopping USD 2.2 million. Since then, the Trinidadian has been a MI loyalist, and on Wednesday, he played his 150th IPL match for the four-time IPL champions when he turned out against the KKR in Abu Dhabi.
“Having someone like Pollard in the squad is always nice. He is a massive player for us, hopefully he’ll come out and enjoy his game, like he always goes,” MI captain Rohit Sharma said of the towering West Indian at the start of Wednesday’s match against KKR.
A master of hitting humongous sixes, 33-year-old Pollard has played 11 consecutive seasons for MI since 2010, has scored 2,773 runs at an amazing strike rate of 146.64 — hitting 177 sixes and 182 boundaries, before the start of Wednesday’s game against KKR.
The only other player that instantly comes to mind for his loyalty to a single franchise is Virat Kohli, who has played for RCB in all 13 seasons that IPL has been in existence for.
Pollard didn’t have an extraordinary first season with MI in 2010 — 273 runs in 14 matches without a half-century and 15 wickets — but the franchise owners kept faith in him as he was more than handy with the ball too. He has bagged 56 wickets at an economy rate of 8.83, before the KKR game on Wednesday.
A brilliant fielder in the deep, Pollard has taken 82 catches so far.
Pollard must be high on confidence at the moment as he joined the MI team in the United Arab Emirates after having guided Trinbago Knight Riders to their fourth Caribbean Premier League title as their captain and winning the Player of the Tournament.