CRICKET-IPL-Pollard retiring from IPL but will be Mumbai Indians batting coach

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MUMBAI, India, Nov 15, West Indies cricketer Kieron Pollard has called time on his Indian Premier League (IPL) career after playing for Mumbai Indians (MI) for 13 seasons but will continue with the league’s most successful team in the role of batting coach.

In a statement on Tuesday, the franchise said Pollard “will use his decades of experience and skill to strengthen Mumbai Indians as a batting coach and as a player with MI Emirates [in the International League T20]”.

“It hasn’t been the easiest decision to make as I wanted to keep playing for a few more years, but I understand that this incredible franchise which has achieved so much, needs to transition,” said Pollard, who started playing in the IPL for MI in 2010 and has remained with the club since.

“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.”

The franchise said that since joining the team, Pollard has since become “one of the greatest players of this generation,” picking up five IPL and two Champions League trophies with Mumbai Indians.

He played 211 games for MI in IPL and Champions League, scoring 3,915 runs at a strike rate of 147. The Trinidadian is currently 18th on the list of IPL’s highest run-getters with 3,412 runs.

Nita Ambani, one of the franchise’s owners, said Pollard has exemplified what Mumbai Indians stand for and has played an important role in the success of the league.

“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 fulfillment. I wish him all the very best!” she said.

MI co-owner Akash Ambani added that Polly, as the West Indian player is fondly referred to, leaves behind a huge legacy as a player with Mumbai Indians.

“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 a player with the 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 playing on the field.”

During Pollard’s IPL career, he was the second-highest run-getter for MI, got the most sixes for MI in IPL (223), had the third-highest number of catches taken in the IPL by a non-wicketkeeper (103), had the fifth-most Man of the Match Awards for an overseas player (14), joint second-fastest 50 for MI (17 balls), and second-highest batting strike rate for MI (147.32).

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