After 13 illustrious seasons with the five-time champion Mumbai Indians, West Indies great Kieron Pollard has announced his retirement from the Indian Premier League.
Pollard made the choice because he didn’t see himself in MI’s future plans as the organisation was going through a transition.
The all-rounder continued by saying that due to his intense loyalty to the team, he is unable to imagine himself playing for any other IPL squad.
Having said that, Pollard’s career at MI is not over because he has been hired to serve as the team’s batting coach.
Pollard was roped in by Mumbai Indians back in 2010 after the franchise was left impressed with this explosive hitting and all-round ability during the 2009 Champions League T20 which was held in India.
Pollard was signed by MI for $750,000 in the ensuing IPL auction after competing against three other teams, including Chennai Super Kings, Royals Challengers, and Kolkata Knight Riders, where he had a base price of US$ 200,000.
With Mumbai Indians, the Windies all-rounder won five IPL championships in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. Additionally, he participated in six games as the team’s captain, four of which Mumbai won.
Pollard was re-signed by MI last year for 6 crore after being retained ahead of the 2018 season, but his contract was terminated after a subpar season earlier this year in which he scored just 144 runs.
In the IPL, only a select few players have played in 100 or more games for a single franchise. After participating in 189 IPL games for the Mumbai Indians, Pollard is second on the list of players who have made the most appearances for a single club.
With his record tally for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Virat Kohli is at the top of the list. Other players on the list include Lasith Malinga, Sunil Narine, and Jasprit Bumrah (who had two stints at Mumbai).
He amassed 3412 runs, 16 fifty-pluses, and 69 wickets in those 189 games, making him one of the league’s most productive all-rounders ever.
Here is Keiron Pollard’s full statement…
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’.
This is not an emotional goodbye to MI however as I have agreed to take up the role of batting coach in the IPL as well as play with MI Emirates. This next chapter of my career is genuinely exciting and allows me to transition myself too from playing to coaching,
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 world 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,
I must give big thanks to the Coaches, Managers and other backroom support staff we have had at Mumbai Indians and who I now join. We would not have achieved the success over the years without their continuing hard work, dedication and commitment to creating the best environment and I look forward to emulating their successful approach. In particular I would like to pay special tribute to my good friend Robin Singh for his sound advice and guidance over the years and whose very shoes I now fill.
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 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.