ADELAIDE, Australia, CMC/IANS – Kieron Pollard has been ruled out of the Big Bash Twenty20 League with a tear in his right hamstring.
It was a major blow for the much-hyped Australian T20 domestic tournament, as it has lost a big draw card.
Scans revealed that the Trinidad & Tobago and West Indies all-rounder has a grade two tear.
He suffered the injury while fielding in a warm-up game on Thursday, Australian media reported.
It was not clear how long the injury would take to heal, but it also puts him in jeopardy for participation for his native T&T in the Caribbean T20 Championship.
Pollard, arguably the World’s highest-paid T20 player, was to have been the marketing and on-field attraction for the Strikers.
South African Alfonso Thomas will replace Pollard and join his compatriot Johan Botha in the Strikers’ line-up.
“In a training mishap, he strained his hamstring and unfortunately will be unavailable,” Strikers coach Darren Berry told reporters on Friday.
Berry would not hazard a guess on Pollard’s lucrative contract of an undisclosed amount.
The Strikers have also asked Cricket Australia to release batsman Tom Cooper from his Chairman’s XI duties against India, so that he can play in the Strikers’ opening game on Sunday against Melbourne Renegades.
“We all know what an important player Kieron Pollard is to any T20 side, so we can’t hide from the fact that it is a blow,” said Berry.
“We do believe with Alfonso Thomas and Johan Botha we have got two World-class internationals.
“And now it will fall back onto our middle-order players and we think we’re covered there with our local talent and interstate recruits.”
Pollard helped the South Australian Redbacks to win the T20 title last summer with brutal hitting in scoring 148 runs at a competition-high strike rate of over 187.
But Pollard did not feature in SA’s successful finals campaign due to international commitments.
“We won last year”s T20 competition and have proven we can win without him,” said Berry.