Crowd energises Pollard
Kieron Pollard flew in on a jet plane Monday, drove straight to the team hotel and walked in on his team-mates playing PlayStation games. The widely-travelled allrounder was busy recently in the Big Bash League in Australia, but made the long journey back in time to play for T&T in the Caribbean T20. On Tuesday night he was not required to bat in the win over CCC, but got a hit on Wednesday night against the Leeward Islands.
In Trinidad, Pollard is a crowd favourite and crowd pleaser. He got the biggest cheer and a standing ovation as he marched to the crease at Queen's Park Oval, and immediately made his presence felt with three of the biggest sixes of the tournament in 29 runs off 12 balls. He returned with the ball to take two wickets in an over as T&T beat Leewards by 95 runs to go top of the table.
"This is where it all started for me and others in this team. You could see the way the fans showed us so much love here. It feels really great to play for Trinidad and Tobago in front of our home fans.
It gives an added dimension to the game and you could feel your heart beating as you go out onto the field. We play a lot all over the world in various teams, but to be at home, playing together in front of our adoring fans is something special," said the 25-year-old on Wednesday night.
"The people in T&T are excited to come out and see us play. It's a real motivation to come out and perform. Playing and winning in front the home crowd is amazing and richly rewarding. Last year we had a similar win against the Leewards – we made a big score and then restricted them. That was away from home, so to do it at home is twice as nice."
After four days of competition, T&T led the table with nine points (three matches) followed by Barbados on eight points (two matches). Jamaica were third on five points (three matches) and Guyana fourth with four points (one match). Three teams, CCC (two matches), Leewards (two matches) and Windwards (one match) were all winless and yet to register a point. That was before yesterday's matches.
"We are on track again this year. We had a slow start in the match against Jamaica which was affected by rain. We went out and played really well tonight. This win moved us to the top of the table and we will be looking to win the group stage," said Pollard, who has made 175 appearances in Twenty20 since his debut for T&T in 2006.
"I like this new format where you get to play more matches and the group winners move straight to the final. We are feeling good and will look to continue the good form when we meet Guyana on Saturday night. That will be another big match. We know the fans will come out in to see us play our last match at home."