Family drives Pollard up success ladder
He is one of the most feared batting all-rounders on the planet, a source of stress to opposing bowlers, but there is a softer side to West Indies power-hitter Kieron Pollard.
Raised in the harsh Trinidad and Tobago community of Maloney, a neglected hotbed burdened with crime and violence, Pollard finds his solace and motivation in the one thing that he loves more than cricket - his family.
No stranger to criticism, the 26-year-old shared his determination to provide the things he did not enjoy as a child.
Pinned to the lid of his 'coffin' - a trunk that he uses to carry his massive bats around - Pollard keeps a collage of his loved ones closely tucked together; a constant reminder of why he plays the game and a calm resolve in a noise of negativity.
represent my family
"For me, it's about family, where I came from, the background that I came from and now I have my own family. When I go out on the cricket field, I don't only represent myself, I represent my family," said the father of two, who got married in 2012 to Jenna Ali.
"I have pictures of my wife, my son, my daughter, myself playing a cover drive - a thing you won't see as much, plus some words of inspiration," Pollard told The Sunday Gleaner of his bat-bag pictorial.
"Some days, I don't feel like training, I open that and that's all the motivation that I need. I see my family and I am instantly reminded what I am here for. I'm not here to be everybody's friend or to make jokes, I am here to do a job and to represent them," Pollard continued. "I motivate myself in that way because where I come from, there are more negatives than positives, so this is how I stay on course."
Pollard, a Twenty20 (T20) and one-day international (ODI) star - who is yet to get a Test match under his belt - brushed off criticism about his limitations in the longer format of the game.
"People may say a lot of things about me; they label me a Twenty20 cricketer and a mercenary, they say all kinds of things, but I know what I am about. The other players can attest, they see my coffin and they know that every time I step on a cricket field, this is what motivates me to do my best," Pollard shared.
"I've come straight from the bottom to a position where I'm wanted all over the world. Yes, it's Twenty20 cricket and people will label you, but if you take on everyone and try to change the way the world looks at you then you will get in trouble, so I try to focus on what I can control," Pollard added.
"I play whichever cricket presents itself so if it's Twenty20 or 50-over cricket, cricket is what I know and retirement can creep on you, so for me it's about playing, enjoying yourself and giving the fans something to be happy about," Pollard added.
Pollard, who plays for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), averages 22.76 in 37 Twenty20 Internationals and 24.92 in 85 ODIs. He has taken 17 T20 International wickets and 44 in one-dayers.