By Neto Baptiste
Former legendary batsman and captain Sir Vivian Richards believes the recent appointment of Trinidadian and experienced campaigner Kieron Pollard as captain of both the T20 and limited overs squads is a step in the right direction for the regional men’s team.
The all-rounder was named as captain during a recent Cricket West Indies (CWI) board meeting, replacing Jason Holder as 50 Overs captain and Carlos Brathwaite as T20 skipper.
Sir Viv said he has always had confidence in Pollard’s ability to lead.
“I have always felt that he was the best T20 captain and especially after we started the CPL. I think it’s a good choice because, let’s be honest, sometimes when you have a young captain like Jason, whom I had backed over the years, he hadn’t really fulfilled those duties,” he said.
Pollard, 32, was recently recalled to the T20I squad in the home series against India, but has not played an ODI since 2016. However, West Indies’ poor showing in the World Cup – where Holder’s team won just two matches and finished ninth – led to Cricket West Indies setting up a task force to revamp the selection process, including recommending the appointment a new white-ball captain.
Sir Viv said that there is no reason why Holder should not continue to perform as an all-rounder and he sees nothing wrong with both players working together.
“In some departments he is a magnificent cricketer, and I am just hoping that in the future that maybe he can just continue to progress with his all-round ability and make the contribution as a team member to the new captain,” he said.
“Pollard, he knows the game and I was pretty much impressed with him in the CPL and especially in the first year and the way in which he handled the Barbados Tridents in terms of being proactive where he makes things happen. He doesn’t sit back and wait for things to happen, so I think it’s a good choice,” Sir Viv added.
Pollard’s appointment was one of eight recommendations made by a selection task force which said CWI needed to appoint a white-ball captain who would be part of the “medium-to long-term selection strategy.” The CWI said the move was aimed at improving West Indies’ position on the rankings table in limited-overs cricket. The task force was made up of CWI vice-president Kishore Shallow, CWI director of cricket Jimmy Adams, CWI director and also head of CWI’s cricket committee Enoch Lewis, former West Indies player and national cricket selector to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association and technical adviser for the Windward Islands Cricket Board, Miles Bascombe, and former players Ramnaresh Sarwan and Philo Wallace.