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June 6, 2010
News : WICB ties national selection to regional tournaments
Players/Officials: Kieron Pollard
Series/Tournaments: Friends Provident t20
Kieron Pollard has put his domestic Twenty20 future ahead of his West Indies career by turning down a place on the one-day leg of the A-team tour to England in favour of his deal with Somerset for the Friends Provident t20.
Pollard, the hard-hitting allrounder, is due to link up with the county shortly but was offered a place on the West Indies A tour which includes a triangular series with England Lions and India A in June. However, Cricinfo understands he declined that opportunity because he isn't on a WICB retainer contract and doesn't feel an obligation to deny himself a lucrative spell with Somerset where the money on offer is substantially more than what he would earn with the A team.
"We are not impressed," a West Indies source told Cricinfo. "We had a lot of talks with him to try and persuade him otherwise and spell out his pathway for the future, but he wanted to play for Somerset instead. We were trying to help his cricket develop by giving him an A tour, but he didn't want to take up the offer."
Pollard is not among the 35 players contracted by the WICB and the players association, WIPA, has defended his move saying it would be unfair to deny him the chance to take up his county deal.
"He signed his contract with Somerset a long time before the squad was announced and he isn't contracted with the West Indies board," Dinanth Ramnarine, the WIPA president, told Cricinfo. "If he was he probably wouldn't have had a choice, but it would almost be restraint of trade to stop him going to Somerset."
Pollard was one of the big-money signings at last year's IPL auction, when he joined Mumbai Indians for more than $750,000, having impressed at the Champions League Twenty20 for Trinidad and Tobago, when he smashed 54 off 18 balls against New South Wales. But his international numbers are struggling to justify the hype with a Twenty20 international average of 12.66 and ODI figure of 19.92.
In the recent World Twenty20, Pollard averaged a paltry 9.40 before managing to lift that to a more respectable 26.80 in the recent one-day series against South Africa.
The clash between West Indies A duty and his Somerset stint isn't the first time Pollard's Twenty20 career has been at loggerheads with his international duties. There was talk of him suing the WICB for loss of earnings after he was called up to face Zimbabwe making him to miss Mumbai's opening IPL match in March.
However, Cricinfo understands that the legal threat has now been dropped although the increasing tensions between player and board seem unlikely to disappear any time soon.
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