Kieron Pollard is Trinidad and Tobago’s cricketing superstar, the most sought after professional cricketer in the Twenty/20 format of the game that has taken the world by storm. Towering over six feet tall, the unassuming 24-year-old has made a name for himself like no other with the unique gift of being able to hit a cricket ball harder and cleaner than anyone else in the world…
The Sunday Guardian caught up with the busy globe-trotting cricketing superstar:
Q: Where were you born and where did you grow up?
A: I was born at the Mount Hope Hospital and grew up in Maloney.
Who are the people who influenced you the most, in your career and in life in general and how did they?
Stephen Batson, who introduced me to cricket; Aslim Mandol, my first cricket coach; my mom and family; my own little family; Bryan Davis and David Furlonge, both from the Queen’s Park Cricket Club.
At what schools/institutions did you receive your education?
Maloney Govt Primary, Success Laventille Composite and Tranquillity Government Secondary.
What advice would you give to the young people of Trinidad and Tobago?
Hard work pays off, and don’t let anyone stop you from achieving your goals; and in the process enjoy good and bad times you may encounter on your way to achieving your goals. Always remember to put God first.
Something that people generally do not know about you?
Ha ha…that I love playing video games.
What motto/credo do you live by and what is your recipe for success?
I believe that hard work pays off and everything happens for a reason and nothing happens before its time.
Cricket has taken you to many countries…where else would you like to visit either to play cricket or otherwise?
I would love to visit Spain and France…if time permits.
Who was your hero or “idol” growing up (fictional or real or both) and why? And who do you admire most today?
Brian Lara for his flamboyance, determination and the way he counteracted in pressured situations. Chris Gayle for the way he intimidates bowlers and the power he possesses. Dwayne Bravo for his energy, his instinctiveness and his “never say die” attitude. M S Dhoni for his calmness under pressure, relaxed attitude and excellent cricket brain.
What is your favourite pastime/interest/hobby (non-cricket)?
I like playing football, hanging out with friends and playing cards.
What was it like growing up in your family?
It was a struggle being the first of three children, with two younger sisters, with a single parent so I knew I had to make it somehow in the cricketing world as that’s the field I chose.
When and how did you get into playing cricket?
At a young age playing in the streets and car parks of Maloney and from watching cricket on television with Stephen Batson, my stepdad. I fell in love with the game ever since.
What are some of your most memorable performances so far in your cricket career?
One-twenty-six on my first-class debut, 54 off 18 balls in the Champions League and my 94 World Cup for the West Indies versus vs Ireland in 2011.
When and where did you play your first game for T&T, West Indies?
That would be in 2006 in the Stanford Tournament for T&T and in 2007 for the West Indies versus South Africa in the World Cup.
Which cricket ground is the best you’ve ever played on, outside of the Queen’s Park Oval, of course?
That was at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the MCG, in Australia
What was your first paying job?
Ha ha, that was at the Office Centre Ltd, which seems so long ago.
Of all your accolades, prizes and awards which do you rate as extremely special?
There have been a number but I must rate being named Sportsman of the Year 2006 for Queen’s Park Cricket Club as very special.
What goals and/or ambitions do you still have?
I would want to make my Test debut, win a World Cup, score my first international 100 and own several successful businesses.
Who and/or what are the love(s) of your life?
That would be our son Kaiden, my fiancée, my mom, my sisters and close family and, of course, cricket.
Describe yourself in three words?
Hmmm…humble, ambitious and fun-loving.
If you had an opportunity to meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
That would have to be the greatest basketball player ever, Michael Jordan. I would want to ask him about how he dominated a sport for so long and how he handled the pressures associated with that status.
How are you handling all the fame and fortune that have been bestowed upon you at such a relatively young age?
It’s tough but I have to be mindful so I am taking it in stride, enjoying every moment of it and trying to put it to full use.