World Cup tracker: Kieron Pollard a chance for West Indies?
Kieron Pollard: "Chris Gayle is 39, and he's whacking it all around." © BCCI

Kieron Pollard has not ruled out a return to playing ODI cricket for West Indies, with the recent changing of guard in the corridors of Cricket West Indies (CWI) indicating that players who had differences with the past board over contracts and pay deals could be welcomed back into the fold without problems.

In March, former West Indies team manager Rikky Skerrit was named the new CWI president after he defeated the incumbent Dave Cameron, who in his two terms from 2013 to 2019 attracted criticism for the high-profile rows with several senior Windies cricketers including Chris Gayle and Darren Sammy, who led West Indies to two ICC World T20 triumphs, as well as his involvement in the sacking of West Indies coach Phil Simmons in 2016.

Asked after he smashed 83 off 31 balls to help his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians to a thrilling last-ball victory over Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday, Pollard replied by saying that his job was to score runs and that his age was not a barrier to an international comeback. (VIDEO: Pollard’s 31-ball 83 takes Mumbai to victory)

“Every time I get the opportunity to play, I want to do my best,” said Pollard, who led Mumbai in the absence of the injured Rohit Sharma.

“There has been a lot of turmoil in West Indies cricket over the last couple of years. We have seen in the last couple of weeks there’s a change. Pollard was one of the guys blacklisted. The most I can do every time I step on the cricket field is try to put runs on the board. There’s people there who have the job to select and whatever and let’s see how that goes. As I said, I’m 31 years, Chris Gayle is still playing, he’s 39, and he’s whacking it all around.”

Pollard hit ten sixes in his 31-ball 83 versus Kings XI Punjab
Pollard hit ten sixes in his 31-ball 83 versus Kings XI Punjab. © BCCI

The fact remains that Pollard has not played an ODI since 2016, and with the deadline for boards to submit their final squads for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup being April 23, chances of a return for the allrounder appear slim. (READ: I have a lot of cricket left in me: Kieron Pollard)

He did, however, back West Indies to pull a few surprises at the World Cup and cited the form of Gayle and Andre Russell in the IPL as good signs for the team.

“Yeah, of course you can say that. But again, as I said that’s why there’s people … we have a new chairman of selectors, there’s a new president of the cricket board, and as I said you take it as it comes. Last year, you might not have been asking me that question. Yes, I scored runs tonight so all sorts of questions will come but for me it’s just about enjoying cricket and doing my best with my god-given talent,” said Pollard.

“We know what we can do and I think Chris batted superbly. A fellow West Indian is Russell … he’s smacking the ball and it’s great to see the way he’s hitting the ball and [Sunil] Narine. These guys are having a good tournament and again, when your mind is free, you just go out and enjoy cricket. You don’t think about much because there are a lot of opinions, there are a lot of things, but it’s people as close to you and what they think matters.”

In the ongoing IPL, Pollard has scored 179 runs in six innings for Mumbai, at a strike-rate of 194.56.

The World Cup starts May 30.