Kieron Pollard’s bond with Robin Peterson made Cape Town return easy

West Indies legend Kieron Pollard, who once turned out for the Cobras, has returned to the Mother City to play for MI Cape Town in the SA20

West Indies legend Kieron Pollard, who once turned out for the Cobras, has returned to the Mother City to play for MI Cape Town in the SA20. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Published Jan 9, 2024


Ben Stokes’ now legendary WhatsApp text to Moeen Ali asking him to come out of retirement for last year’s Ashes is certainly growing in stature around the cricket world.

Not only did England Test captain Stokes convince Ali with a simple oneline message – “Ashes?” – but coaches around the world have now followed suit in trying to persuade other players to overturn their decisions.

Proteas Test coach Shukri Conrad sent a similar message to off-spinner Dane Piedt, who was living in the US at the time, to return to South Africa to be eligible for a one-off tour to New Zealand next month.

Now West Indies T20 legend Kieron Pollard has revealed that new MI Cape Town coach Robin Peterson followed a similar path to get the big Trinidadian to head to Cape Town for Betway SA20 season 2.

“Yeah, to be honest, he did (send a text),” Pollard said at the SA20 captains’ briefing in Camps Bay yesterday.

“He was like, ‘come back to South Africa’. And here I am sitting in front of you guys and looking forward to a tournament that everyone has highly spoken about.

“It looked pretty exciting on television. So, looking forward to having a good season.”

Pollard replaces the injured Rashid Khan with the Afghanistan superstar still recovering from a back injury. Initially, it is only meant to be for the first three games of the competition, but at this stage it looks unlikely that Rashid will be back any time soon.

Pollard, 36, is a multiple IPL champion with Mumbai Indians, and has won a vast amount of T20 titles around the world with various teams. But it is the relationship that Pollard and Peterson share that is invaluable to the West Indian.

Besides joining forces last year at MI New York to lead the franchise to the inaugural Major League Cricket title, the pair have also played together for the Cape Cobras in South Africa and the Barbados Tridents back in the Caribbean.

Pollard believes that with Peterson at the helm now in season 2, MI Cape Town can hit the highs expected of a team blessed with such an abundance of talent.

“I have played a lot of cricket with Robin. He is pretty cool in terms of how he goes around. He believes in individuality rather than big groups. He has casual chats and believes in them and they tend to get more out of individuals,” Pollard said.

“It worked for us in America. He has been around the MI set-up for a period as well. His knowledge of the local South African players is high as well.”

Blessed with the experience of a whopping 637 T20 matches, Pollard doesn’t feel the pressure of trying to turn the fortunes of MI Cape Town around.

Instead, he is just happy to be back in Cape Town, where he has tasted success before in the now-defunct RamSlam T20 competition with the Cobras, and he simply wants to share his vast knowledge with talented youngsters, such as Dewald Brevis and Duan Jansen.

“Thank you for having me back after a couple of years. I have been here before, I have been in this city. It’s nothing different. I am looking to make a difference from the team’s perspective,” he said.

“I am not nervous at all. I am in the twilight of my career, I want to enjoy, and pass on my experience to the youngsters and sit back and watch them take the world by storm.”


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