Exclusive: I don't put pressure on myself in any situation, says Pollard

Kieron Pollard says T10 format can be an option in terms of taking cricket to the Olympics. — Twitter
Kieron Pollard says T10 format can be an option in terms of taking cricket to the Olympics. — Twitter

Dubai - Pollard showers praise on UAE pace bowler Zahoor Khan

By Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Sat 30 Jan 2021, 11:15 PM

Last updated: Sat 30 Jan 2021, 11:27 PM

It’s a mental game for Kieron Pollard. The giant West Indies all-rounder, famous for his big-hitting skills, has worked hard on the mental side of his game to become one of the best T20 players in the world.

In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Pollard, who is leading the Deccan Gladiators at the Abu Dhabi T10, also opened up on the skills of UAE pace bowler Zahoor Khan.

Q. UAE pace bowler Zahoor Khan (3/13) was the star in your team’s win against Team Abu Dhabi. You know him well, having trained with him at the Mumbai Indians camp in the 2020 IPL. He also played well in the 2019 Abu Dhabi T10. What makes him special in shorter formats?

I believe it’s his skill. He can bowl the slow balls, he is a smart cricketer. He has the experience as well, he has been around a bit. He has done well for us. We had him in Mumbai Indians for the entire IPL. I am sure he has gained a lot of knowledge as well in the IPL. Again, he is back here at the Deccan Gladiators. He is an experienced guy, so he knows a thing or two about what needs to be done on these pitches as this is his home ground.

Q. Can he even get an IPL contract in future?

I think once you put your name in the IPL auction, you are always in with a chance. In terms of whether he would actually get to play, I can’t say. I am not part of any ownership of any franchise, which I would love to be. But in terms of skills, once you continue to execute your skills on the field, you give yourself the best chance.

Q. The T10 seems to be a great platform for UAE players…

Obviously, it’s going to help the cricket here. These guys (UAE players) are unknown guys. These guys are showing their talent. And they also are trying to make a name for themselves in the international scene. They only need opportunities and these are the tournaments that give these unknown guys an opportunity, so the world can see them.

Q. Do you believe T10 is the ideal format to take cricket to the Olympics?

I think the T10 format can be an option in terms of taking cricket to the Olympics. The authorities will be looking into it and it will be nice to represent your national team at the Olympics. It’s an opportunity to play on a bigger global stage.

Q. You are famous for hitting those effortless sixes. But your ability to stay calm in nail-biting chases in also incredible. Has it come naturally to you?

I have obviously worked on it. It’s a mental part of your cricket. At the end of it, sometimes you are in the back foot and the only way to come out of that is to win the game. For me, it’s more mental. So just enjoy the moment and sometimes that keeps me calm. And once I am calm, I focus more on the ball, I focus more on what I need to do and you get yourself in a position where you can actually win the game and you come out and be the man that wins the games more often than not. I don’t put pressure on myself in any situation.


More news from Cricket