West Indies superstar Kieron Pollard on Tuesday announced his retirement from the Indian Premier League (IPL). He spent twelve-long years with the five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) at the IPL.
“It hasn’t been the easiest decision to make as I intend to keep playing for a few more years, but following discussions with Mumbai Indians I have decided to call time on my IPL career. I understand that this incredible franchise which has achieved so much needs to transition and if I’m no longer to play for MI then I cannot see myself playing against MI either, ‘Once an MI always an MI’,” Pollard wrote in his retirement letter.
After being retained by MI (for 6 crores) ahead of the 2022 IPL players’ auction, Pollard had a dreadful season with the bat as he could score just 144 runs in 11 matches and was ultimately dropped from the starting XI.
“I am immensely proud, honoured and blessed to have represented the biggest and most successful team in the IPL for the past 13 seasons. It was always an aspiration to play for this fantastic team and although I will miss the buzz of the IPL you get as a player, I take comfort in knowing that I have been fortunate enough to have played with some of the best players in the word in front of our passionate fans. I have always felt and appreciated their unconditional support both on and off the field. Together, we won the Champions League in 2011 and 2013 and the IPL in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020,” Pollard’s statement further read.
Only a handful of players have featured in 100 or more IPL matches for a single franchise and Pollard is one of them. The Trinidadian cricketer represented MI in 189 games in which he scored 3412 runs and grabbed 69 wickets, becoming one of the most prolific all-rounders in the cash-rich league.
“Most sincerely, I express my deep appreciation to Mukesh, Nita and Akash Ambani for their tremendous love, support and respect I have always felt and for the confidence, they have placed in me. I recall our first encounter when they welcomed me with open arms saying, “We are family”. Those were not just mere words, but demonstrated by their every action throughout my time with Mumbai Indians.
“Lastly, I would like to say a special thank you to my friends and family especially my wife, Jenna and my three beautiful children for all the love, support and the many sacrifices they have made over the years and will continue to make to allow me to fulfil my childhood dream of playing cricket at the highest levels for such a long time,
“Today I make this step with hope and excitement towards the future knowing that I will be playing a role in an institution, whose values align so closely to mine, where ‘We are family’,” Pollard concluded.
However, his relationship with Mumbai is not ending. He will be joining the Mumbai Paltan as a batting coach and play for MI Emirates, owned by the same group, in the UAE’s International League T20 (ILT20).