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Published on Apr 12, 2017
#KieronPollard had a batting average of 11.30 from 15 ODIs and 17.20 from 10 T20Is when he became the joint-biggest buy at the IPL player auction in January 2010. Mumbai Indians weren't paying $750,000 (plus an undisclosed amount to break a tie with three other franchises) for Pollard's international record; they were shelling out all that money for the fearsome hitting power he had shown in domestic T20 action - most notably while smashing 54 off 18 balls for T&T against New South Wales during the 2009 Champions League T20. #Westindies
That IPL auction signaled a shift in the world game and, in the months ahead, Pollard continued to show how much ground franchise cricket had gained on the international game. He opted out of the West Indies A team in order to play T20s for Somerset and then refused a WICB central contract, since signing it would mean making himself available at all times for West Indies.
Over the next few years, #Pollard improved his international record, scoring a pair of half-centuries at the 2011 World Cup and then, later that year, breaking his century duck by slamming a 110-ball 119 in a crisis situation against India in Chennai. There were plenty of explosive T20 finishes as well, including a 15-ball 38 that put the 2012 World T20 semi-final well beyond Australia's reach.
But through it all, the canvas of franchise cricket remained the best medium to showcase the hulking Pollard's unbridled hitting - with his top hand frequently slipping off the bat handle even as the ball disappeared far over wide long-on - and canny medium-pace. Mumbai retained Pollard after his first season for them and he rewarded their faith in his abilities with, among other match-winning performances, an unbeaten 32-ball 60 that gave them their maiden IPL title.
Though widely considered a limited-overs specialist, Pollard has expressed a desire to play Test cricket, and has a fairly good first-class record behind him, including a whirlwind 126 on debut for Trinidad and Tobago against Barbados. But that call-up has yet to materialise.
Pollard was left out of West Indies' ODI team in December 2014, ahead of a series in South Africa. His axing - along with Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo - came soon after West Indies pulled out of their tour of India with an ODI, a T20 and three Tests still remaining, due to a dispute with the board and the players' association over payment structures.
Pollard returned to international cricket in June 2016 with an improved defensive technique and the stomach for a fight. Against South Africa, he took the score from 21 for 4 to a match-winning 285. The 156-run partnership he shared with Darren Bravo is West Indies' best for the fifth wicket. He has also led Barbados Tridents to the CPL title in 2014, they finished runners-up in 2015.