Pollard granted NOC to play in South Africa
The WICB has granted West Indies allrounder Kieron Pollard a no-objection certificate to participate in South Africa's domestic T20 tournament, two days after he had not been given one. WICB chief executive Michael Muirhead said the board had not intended to completely deny the NOC and had apologised for the delay.
The WICB, Muirhead said, had been waiting for response from other Full Member boards on the policy of levying a 20% contract fee for any West Indian player who wanted to play in an overseas league. Pollard had signed a two-year contract with Cape Cobras and was scheduled to leave for South Africa on Tuesday.
"That is what we said in our letter to Mr Pollard," Muirhead told ESPNcricinfo. "We apologise for the delay because we usually do it quite quickly, but we were awaiting some response from the cricket boards."
Although Muirhead did not mention this, Pollard said on his Twitter account that he was also granted permission to play in Australia's Big Bash League. "NOC granted for both [SA domestic T20] and big bash!" Pollard tweeted late on Tuesday.
In the first letter to Pollard, Muirhead said he could not be granted the NOC until the overseas boards responded. "This morning we got some responses and we have agreed to continue to discussions," he said. "They are not in total agreement. But in principle they understand that everything is on the table and we now have their attention. We thought prudent hence to grant all NOCs that were pending."
Earlier on Tuesday, speaking to Line and Length, a West Indies-based network, Muirhead said WICB never intended to deny Pollard an LOC. "It is a dynamic situation. It was very clear in the letter that Kieron got (on November 3). It was not denying him any NOC. It was explaining to him why it was taking a little longer. Normally we would respond and he would have got the NOC within seven days."
Muirhead also told the network that that a reason West Indies cricketers in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League were given NOCs was because the Bangladesh Cricket Board had responded "rather quickly" on the release fee concept. It is understood that BCB told WICB they would pay 10% of the player's contracted fee in the BPL. It is not clear whether the BCB would make the payment or they would pass the burden on to the player's franchise.
Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo