Kieron Pollard replaces Rashid Khan as MI Cape Town captain: Aims to make a stunning debut in SA 20 2024
Afghanistan’s all-rounder Rashid Khan was ruled out of the SA 20 2024 league. Currently, the 25-year-old Afghan cricketer is under rehabilitation to recover from his back injury. Consequently, the former West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard replaces Rashid Khan as the MI Cape Town captain ahead of the tournament.
Previously, ACB finalized Rashid Khan in the Afghanistan squad for the upcoming 3-match T20I series against India. According to the statement from the ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board), Rashid is likely to miss the forthcoming twenty20 series.
Also, Rashid Khan recently missed the 3-match T20I series against UAE and the Big Bash League (BBL) 2023-24.
Earlier, Kieron Pollard as New York Strikers skipper led his team to the winning title against the Deccan Gladiators in the Abu Dhabi T10 2023 league finals.
Following the success in the shorter format and Rashid Khan’s injury, Kieron Pollard is set to make a debut in SA 20 as MI Cape Town captain.
Furthermore, MI Cape Town officially announced about signing of Sri Lanka’s pace bowler Nuwan Thushara, who replaced Jofra Archer’s position in the forthcoming edition of the tournament.
The MI Cape Town will begin the SA 20 2024 campaign by playing its first match against Durban Super Giants on 11th January 2024 (Thursday).
Interestingly, the MI Cape Town has a few leading players namely:
- Kagiso Rabada
- Rassie van der Dussen
- Sam Curran
- Jofra Archer
- Liam Livingstone
The SA 20 2024 is scheduled to take place from January 10th (Wednesday) to February 10th, 2024 (Saturday). On the other side, the ILT20 2024 commences on 19th January (Friday) and concludes on 17th February 2024 (Saturday).
Furthermore, these two leagues will clash with the ongoing New Zealand Super Smash 2023-24 as well as the approaching Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2024.
Reasons why only Kieron Pollard replaces Rashid Khan as MI Cape Town skipper?
Another golden opportunity is presented after Kieron Pollard replaces Rashid Khan as MI Cape Town skipper, to prove his best captaincy skills following the success of Abu Dhabi T20 2023.
Kieron Pollard has a great collaboration with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. He has been a part of the franchise squad for more than 10 years. After retiring from the IPL, Pollard is now serving as the batting coach of Mumbai Indians.
The MI Cape Town delivered a disastrous performance in the inaugural edition of SA20. Out of 10 matches, the franchise managed to secure only 3 wins. As a result, the team concluded at the bottom position in the previous season’s points table.
Also, MI Emirates retained Kieron Pollard for the ILT20 2024 as the team’s captain. As the ILT20 2024 commences on 19th January 2024, the dates between both the franchise leagues clash unexpectedly.
Alternatively, Nicholas Pooran, who is Pollard’s CPL teammate in Trinbago Knight Riders has been appointed as the team’s captain for the ILT20 2024.
Possibly, Kieron Pollard might join the MI Emirates in the completing phase of the ILT20 2024.
Moreover, under Pollard’s captaincy, Trinbago Knight Riders were the defending champions many times.
Kieron Pollard’s Impressive T20 Records
Notably, Kieron Pollard has scored 1569 runs in 101 T20 internationals. It includes his highest score of 75 runs ( not out) with an average of 25.31 and a strike rate of 135.14.
Similarly, in the IPL, Pollard accumulated a total of 3412 runs in 171 innings. Out of the 189 IPL matches, Kieron Pollard holds his highest individual score of 87 runs. It includes an average of 28.67 and 147.32.
Many times Pollard single-handedly won matches for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. For instance, in the IPL 2013 and 2015 finals against the Chennai Super Kings led by MS Dhoni, he completely snatched away the game to clinch the winning IPL titles.
Kieron Pollard replaces Rashid Khan: Conclusive Facts
Even if Rashid Khan hadn’t faced a back injury, still he would have missed the initial stages of the SA20 2024. It is because by participating in the Afghanistan Tour of India 2024, these franchise leagues would have clashed simultaneously:
- SA 20 2024
- ILT20 2024
- New Zealand Super Smash 2023-24
- BPL 2024
After Kieron Pollard replaces Rashid Khan as a new skipper, he reveals his conversation with the MI Cape Town coach Robin Peterson during an interaction with the media.
Pollard feels that Robin convinced him to play the SA20. At that time, he felt the exact touch of his message received from the England cricketer Ben Stokes.
Kieron Pollard conveys Robin Peterson is one such person who believes in individuality rather than large groups. Earlier, he had played a lot of cricket with Robin and the interaction by having casual chats extracts special talents.
Moreover, fans would be excited to observe if Kieron Pollard can join the final stages of the ILT20 2024 played in UAE.
Finally, the MI CT wished Rashid Khan a speedy recovery by expecting him to be on the field soon.