Plug for Smith
THE BIG-HITTING Kieron Pollard believes an inform Dwayne Smith, playing alongside him, could just be the tonic the West Indies need to win the World Twenty20 Championship in Sri Lanka in September.
“That would be the ultimate goal, to see the guys from all the Caribbean nations come together and actually win a big tournament like a World Cup.
“That would be absolutely brilliant,” Pollard told MIDWEEK SPORT in an interview at Kensington Oval on Sunday after Trinidad and Tobago retained the Caribbean Twenty20 cricket title.
“One person I would like to single out in this tournament is Dwayne Smith. I think he batted pretty well for Barbados. He had some unfortunate run outs but, you know, once you have a good Dwayne Smith for West Indies, that is good for our cricket,” he noted.
“I’m a Dwayne Smith fan, to be honest – the way he hits the ball and the way he strikes the ball.
“Once he can come up trumps for Barbados, at some point in time hopefully we can be on a cricket field together and do the West Indies proud,” added the Trinidadian.
The 24-year-old Pollard was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament after hammering 16 sixes and six fours in his 153 runs at an amazing strike rate of 218.57 while being dismissed just once.
The 28-year-old Smith’s 165 runs at a strike-rate of 136.36 with 14 fours and ten sixes, were only bettered by St Lucian Johnson Charles (207) and Jamaican Nkrumah Bonner (172).
Pollard said that even though he had signed to play in the Indian Premier League and other lucrative T20 tournaments around the world, he was still committed to the cause of West Indies cricket.
“Obviously, your dream is to play for the West Indies at every point in time.
“Growing up, you watch guys who I have seen like Brian Lara and Carl Hooper, and you always want to go out there and perform and play for the West Indies,” he said.
“I got the opportunity to play and I relish each and every time I go out on the field, be it a good performance or a bad performance. At the end of the day, it is cricket and I’m doing something I love.
“Hopefully, one day we can come as a team and, as I said, win a world tournament or start to win series back-to-back or just show an improvement in West Indies cricket and it would be good not only for West Indies but ourselves as well as individuals.”
While acknowledging there were many talented cricketers in the Caribbean, Pollard noted that hard work and determination were required to make it to the top.
“You [have] got to be focused on what you want to achieve.
“Hopefully, the guys can see the gains of world cricket. There is a lot to be gained all over the world in terms of whichever format of the game.
“Hopefully, we can go out and come together as a Caribbean and young players and do well for the West Indies people and those who solely support West Indies cricket,” he said.