Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
William Shakespeare: Henry The Fourth, Part 2 Act 3, scene 1, 26–31
Kieron Pollard’s leadership since replacing Jason Holder as the captain of the ODI team and Carlos Brathwaite as the skipper of the T20 side is getting kudos not only from Windies’ Coach Simmons but also some cricket pundits and fans.
Pollard, however, must be aware that without performance, the “honeymoon” at the top is temporary.
The Windies cricketing public has a long memory, and no doubt will remember the path taken when invited to represent the Windies, it was the T20 circuit that won the day.
The question posed then, “Do you want to be remembered as a legend, or do you want to be remembered as someone who is a mercenary?”
“I said at this point in time I’ll take my chances, and I’ll go around the world; I’ll back myself, and I’ll back my ability,” was the response from Pollard.
Since then, a lot has changed. Pollard would tell anyone willing to listen, “I got a lot of backlash for it from the media all over the world. I took a lot of licks, I took a lot of punches, I took a lot of different things…”
That said, Pollard could now describe his new position at the helm of the Windies’ team as his new testament; thus, his call for the cricketing public to give his team time to grow and develop may be well placed.
In fact, on that call, he has the support of ace Jamaican and Caribbean journalist and commentator Lance Whittaker.
Speaking on the program Sportsmax Zone, Whittaker noted that Pollard’s call for “time” is apt. He said Pollard as the new leader would want to ensure that “he gives his players mental strength to do battle and not to say anything that could contribute to demoralizing or lowering their self-esteem.”
He also posited the view that the players must be in a positive frame of mind to perform well, and the captain has the responsibility to ensure that the team under his charge is motivated to do the job they are called to do.
“So, his job as a man manager, as the team captain is to get the best out of his players and part of that process, I think is to make them feel good about themselves mentally,” said Whittaker.
He further noted that domestic competition does not prepare Windies players for international games in the same way as the English, Australian, and Indian.
Whittaker mourned the fact that the young players do not play sustained high-quality cricket compared to other countries.
He cited young Trinidadian batsman Adrian Barath who showed great promise at start but quickly fell through the crack.
The truth is, West Indies produces lots of talented cricketers, but over the years, no long-term plan has been put in place for their development.
Consequently, as Whittaker argued, “there’s the revolving issue about players coming to the international level as West Indies cricketers and being short of the sustained level of quality cricket.”
Now, the onus is on Pollard as he leads in this new dispensation to put the 2010 comment of former West Indies fast bowler and commentator Michael Holding to rest. Some would even say put the remark into the rubbish heap of cricket history —”Kieron Pollard, in my opinion, is not a cricketer.”
“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” it is written!
Nigel Bell, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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