Mumbai Indians and West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard has announced his retirement from the Indian Premier League. After playing for MI for 13 seasons, Pollard decided to hang his boots ahead of the IPL 2023 Auction as a player after he didn’t make it to the Mumbai Indians IPL 2023 retention list.
Pollard will be taking over as the Mumbai Indians’ batting coach for IPL 2023 and will continue as a player for the MI Emirates, the franchise’s subsidiary in the UAE league (ILT20).
Pollard joined MI in 2010 and played for the Mumbai-based franchise for 13 years. He lifted 5 IPL and 2 champions league trophies with Mumbai Indians during his tenure.
Pollard played a total of 189 IPL matches during his illustrious career in which he scored 3412 runs at a strike rate of 147.32. While he had an off-season in IPL 2022 where he scored just 144 runs in 11 matches for Mumbai last season at an underwhelming strike rate of 107.46.
“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 said.
“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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Here’s how the Mumbai Indians’ owners reacted to Pollard’s IPL retirement:
Nita. M. Ambani said, “For me, Pollard has exemplified what Mumbai Indians stand for – Khelenge Dil Khol Ke! Right from Season 3, we have shared joy, sweat, and tears – those powerful emotions that forge lifelong bonds on and off the field. He has played an important role in the success of MI and been a part of the winning side for both our Champions League trophies and all 5 IPL wins. We will miss seeing his magic on the field for MI, but I’m delighted that he will continue to play for MI Emirates, and also mentor young players as the batting coach for MI. May his new journey with MI and MI Emirates bring him even greater glory, triumph, and fulfilment. I wish him all the very best!”
Akash Ambani said, “Polly leaves behind a huge legacy as a player with Mumbai Indians. Fans roared every time he took to the field. A valued member of the MI family and a great friend, he played the beautiful game of cricket with utmost commitment and passion all through his IPL career with us. Pleased to have Polly continue to be a part of the MI Family as a batting coach for Mumbai Indians and as player with MI Emirates. We believe, Polly will be as dynamic and impactful as a coach, just like the way he was, when he took to the field for us. His insights will be invaluable to the team, though the Mumbai Indians, Wankhede Stadium and the Paltan will miss him play on the field.”