BREAKING: Northants Steelbacks sign big-hitting West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard for T20 Blast
Northants Steelbacks have landed a major coup by signing big-hitting West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard for an eight-match stint in this summer's Vitality T20 Blast.
David Ripley's squad will be bolstered by the arrival of Pollard, who is the captain of the West Indies' white ball sides, and is one of the most sought-after players in what is currently the shortest form of the game.
The 32-year-old has played in tournaments all around the world, including the Big Bash in Australia and the Indian Premier League, where he has been a part of the Mumbai Indians set-up since 2010, helping them win the tournament in 2013, 2015, 2017 and last year - where he scored a crucial 41 in the final to see off Chennai Super Kings.
He was named the skipper of the West Indies' 50-over and T20 teams in September last year, and earlier this month he captained his country to a 1-1 T20 series draw with Ireland in the Caribbean, winning the player of the series award in the process. Pollard also led the West Indies to a 3-0 series win in the four-match ODI series against the Irish.
He has previously played in the English T20 competition, helping Somerset to successive finals in 2010 and 2011, with the west country county losing out to Hampshire and a Josh Cobb-inspired Leicestershire respectively.
At the back end of 2019 he helped the Trinidad & Tobago Knight Riders to the semi-finals of the Caribbean Premier League, and he was also part of the Peshawar Zalmi team that finished runners-up in the Pakistan Super League.
His record in T20 cricket is exceptional.
Pollard has played a staggering 499 T20 matches in total, more than any other player in the history of the game, scoring 9,996 runs at an average of 30.85, with an impressive strike-rate of 150.4
He has scored one century and 49 half-centuries, while with the ball in hand, he has taken 279 wickets at 24.27.
For the West Indies, he has played 71 matches, scoring 1,089 runs - including four half-centuries - at 23.17 with a strike-rate of 130.57, and taken 35 wickets at 25.54 apiece.
Pollard will join the Steelbacks squad for eight games through the middle of the tournament, beginning with Northants’ first home fixture on Friday, June 5 against Durham Jets, subject to NOC approval from Windies Cricket.
He will then be available for further home matches against Derbyshire (June 7), Worcestershire (June 11), Lancashire Lightning (June 24), Notts Outlaws (June 26) and Leicestershire Foxes (July 3), as well as away matches at Yorkshire (June 12) at Headingley and Birmingham Bears (June 23) at Edgbaston.
Pollard will then lead the West Indies as they look to defend their World T20 title in October.