(Trinidad Guardian) Barbados Trident’s captain Kieron Pollard has come under fire from some quarters for what they term ‘unsportsmanlike’ behaviour, by denying a century to Patriots opener Evin Lewis in their 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) clash in Barbados on Sunday night.
Pollard bowled a no-ball, his first of the tournament when Lewis was on 97 off 32 balls, with St Kitts and Nevis Patriots needing one run to beat Barbados Tridents in the Twenty20 competition. The no-ball gave 25-year-old Lewis’ side the win but saw him miss out on the chance of a ton after he and captain Chris Gayle reached 129-0.
If Lewis had completed his century in 33 balls, it would have been the second fastest of all time – just behind Chris Gayle’s 30-ball IPL knock in 2013.
Pollard was hammered on social media with fans saying they had lost respect for him after the no-ball. Some fans were angry with their comments and called him some derogatory names. Lewis, however, was more diplomatic. “It hurts [missing out on the hundred], but hitting 97 not out off 33 balls, I will take that any day. I’ve been hitting the ball long and hard in the nets. I’m confident now and looking forward to the play-offs.”
Former West Indies opener and commentator during the CPL, Philo Wallace said :”It was rather a rather strange act from a man of Pollard’s class. One would not have expected that from him. I am not saying that he should have given him the hundred, no one wants to do that. However, if it was me, I would have bowled a ball and try to get him out. If the no-ball was intentional, then it is not nice at all and unbecoming of Pollard.”
Cricket captain at Queen’s Park Cricket Club and commentator Colin Murray said that no one can say for sure that Pollard deliberately bowled the no-ball and he put down the action to the player’s competitive spirit. “No one can say for sure that he bowled the no-ball deliberately. Pollard is very competitive by nature and he would do anything to prevent a player scoring a hundred against his team. I see people are saying that he should not have done that because Lewis is a fellow Trinidadian. That to me is utter rubbish because it tells me that just because someone is from your country you must give them gifts. It’s like Dwight Yorke in the days at Manchester playing a match against another club and let’s say against Brent Sancho and allowing him to score three goals because he is from Trinidad. I think people need to understand that no one would just give away a century and what Pollard did was just be competitive.”