11th Feb, 2023
It was a wonderful campaign. Cut short just when our dream had begun to take shape, sure, but a seriously fun campaign nevertheless.
From Pollard tonking the ball around like only he can, to the announcement of Muhammad Waseem to the world, to Pooran and Fletcher performing day in and out, to Imran Tahir doing a Cristiano, to DJ Bravo foxing a few more batters for fun, to every game unearthing a new hero, it was some campaign!
As it all came to a close, Kieron Pollard turned out for the press conference, and in his typical style, smacked some questions out of the park. Excerpts ..
On what went wrong in this game
There’s a lot of ifs and buts now. Obviously we ended up on the losing side of it but sometimes situations present themselves where you have to take initiatives. We were struggling a bit, we didn’t start off well with the bat. It has been the tale of the tournament. We’ve had good and bad starts. But today, I think it cost us.
How he turned his batting form around
It all started at the end of the last IPL when you guys wrote me off. It gave me some opportunity to go back and think what I needed to do. There was a lot of talk about my age. Bear in mind, I am only 35. 38, 39, 40-year-olds are still playing. That gave me that extra motivation. Kieron Pollard loves that motivation factor. So, I leave you guys wanting more.
On his chat with Gerhard Erasmus when he walked out to bat
Just welcoming him to the crease. Told him I was happy to have him here, and I didn’t want him to be there for too long. Just when Rashid was supposed to bowl, he pulled away. All within good spirit. He is a good talent playing in international cricket. For all these players playing in this tournament, for me, it was all about sharing my knowledge and giving them an opportunity to tap into my brains. All good things, and long may it continue for these players going forward.
Whether back-to-back games affected the team
That’s not an excuse and we are not going to use that. We had a very good game yesterday. Coming back today, a lot of these guys have played Test cricket, playing day in and day out. We knew from the outset that if we won yesterday, we’d have to play today. I won’t use that as an excuse. Mental, emotional, nothing like that. I think we were beaten on the day by the better team.
On the difference between the Dubai and Sharjah pitches
That’s what professional sport is about. I am sure you don’t want to know the difference between pitches and what we have to go through in order to come out and perform. That’s not an excuse, that’s not a reason. At the end of the day, you are professional cricketers and you want to see entertainment.
Final thoughts on the ILT20 experience
From a team perspective, getting here, three other teams could have been in this position but they got knocked out. I thought we had a very good tournament with the squad we had in terms of experience and youth. A couple of guys coming over from England, from West Indies, we were able to blend and share our knowledge and experience with them. I thought it was a good campaign for us in the ILT20. Long may it continue. It is about learning and getting better as individuals. I am sure some of the guys would have taken some knowledge from here and carried on to their different teams.