Pollard: We selected the right players
Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Kieron Pollard, captain of the defending Caribbean Premier League T20 champions, the Barbados Tridents, said his team selected the right players at Thursday's Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Draft held at the Terra Nova Hotel in St Andrew.
Like all the other franchises, the Barbados Tridents were only allowed to retain four players from last season and the defending champions retained their captain, Pakistan's Shaoib Malik, Ravi Rampaul and Dwayne Smith. In the draft, they secured the services of a solid group of players that included Jason Holder, Dilshan Munaweera, Justin Ontong, Robin Peterson, Akeal Hosein and Nevin Stewart.
"I think it's a good mix of experience and youth," said Pollard, whose team dethroned the Jamaica Tallawahs. "We lost a couple of our players from last year that were instrumental in us winning the title - Mairs and young Reifer - but I feel we have able replacements. We went for Navin Stewart, a sort of like for like sort of a fast-bowling all-rounder, so I think we have a good mix."
MISSING IN ACTION
Pollard, who will miss out on West Indies duties in Australia next month, said that despite the fact that there are not many high-profile names in the team, the players selected are hungry for success. "There are myself and Robin, guys who want to do well and guys who are always eager to come to the Caribbean and get back into their national set-ups," he said. "It has worked for us in the last couple of years. If you watch Mendes, when he came to play for us, he got back into the Sri Lanka national team; Shoaib Malik, the first year he played for us, he got back into Pakistan's team. We want efficiency. Munaweera did well for us in the Champions League; it was a pick no one expected, so these are the guys we look to."
Pollard also mentioned that the players selected also fit well into the 'family unit' that is the Barbados Tridents. With regards to retired South African great Jacques Kallis, who was available in this year's draft and picked up by the Trinidad Red Steel, Pollard said the player identified as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time, was not being considered. "When you look at the picks that we had and who we retained, obviously we knew we were never going to get someone like a Jacques Kallis. He was not on our radar."