West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard says it is his will to win that helps drive his franchise cricket career which continues to be littered with success.
The 32-year-old allrounder stands on the brink of Abu Dhabi T10 glory after his team Deccan Gladiators made it to Sunday’s final. Pollard is also a multiple IPL champion, has a T20 World Cup winner’s medal on his mantlepiece, is one of the most experienced T20 players in the world.
He has taken in franchise tournaments the world over, from his native Caribbean islands to England, Australia, Bangladesh, the UAE and Canada. For Pollard, each stop has been a learning experience and he hopes to feed his gained knowledge back into both West Indian cricket and across the ever-expanding footprint of T20 leagues across the globe.
“I think the will to win is what makes you as an individual sometimes successful because you want to pass on the knowledge that you’ve learnt [from] playing international cricket [and] playing franchise cricket on to the players that you have presently and try to educate them. So when you go onto that field, they have that cricketing knowledge to go out and try to execute and be one step ahead of the opposition,” Pollard told ESPNcricinfo.
“We play a lot of cricket around the world but it’s about being successful and about winning and that’s my mantra no matter who I play for at that point in time I give my all to win and my will to win is very, very strong.”
Pollard proved as much on his latest assignment in the T10, where he helped the Gladiators set up a showdown with the Maratha Arabians for the trophy courtesy of back-to-back victories over the Bangla Tigers and the Qalandars on Saturday night. And for the likes of 22-year-olds Dan Lawrence and Mason Crane, as well as 24-year-old Migael Pretorious in an otherwise experienced-looking Gladiators outfit, Pollard is a great resource to tap into.
“With that you can broaden their mindset as to how they go about it because in certain cultures, certain things are embedded in them but when you come out in the wider world it’s not only about that,” Pollard said of his advice for emerging players.
“You get a different perspective from different people and that makes you learn and get better as a cricketer. I’ve played all over the world, in different competitions, so I have a fair idea of how to go about it and I’ve been successful as well. So however that conversation goes at that time you share that knowledge of it and what you think. Your opinion might not be right but it might give them a different perspective of how you are thinking about certain aspects.
“Once you’re good enough to be here, you’re good enough to go out and perform. All you need to do when you sit in a franchise or in a team where there’s a lot of internationals you try to pick their brains and try to understand different aspects of cricket, different scenarios of what they would have done in certain situations.”
Pollard came into the T10 on the back of his first assignment since being named captain of West Indies’ T20I and ODI formats, a tour against Afghanistan that ended in a 2-1 defeat in the former and 3-0 whitewash in the latter.
They were his first ODI matches in over three years and now that Pollard is back in the fold, he will do everything in his power, he says, to ensure that when he eventually leaves the international scene, he does so having given back to Caribbean cricket.
“The same experiences I’ve learned around the world, the same experiences I can share in the dressing room,” Pollard said.
“In our dressing room there are a lot of young guys and they need the experienced guys to try and guide them along and that’s basically my job in terms of trying to guide them, try to set them in the right direction and also trying to lead from the front in terms of performing as well.
“I’m pretty excited because I know what the guys can learn from the experienced guys. We have Dwayne Bravo who can come back in potentially, you have Chris Gayle who is still playing T20 cricket around the world and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the T20 arena, in 50-over, in Test cricket, so he can share a lot.
“As a staff and management, we look forward to that, trying to build for something in the future. Obviously, we’re not going to be around for too long but whatever I can do in the little space of time to help is going to make me a lot more satisfied than leaving the international side and not being able to help.”