IPL 2019

Pollard targets Cup in new Windies era

Big-hitting allrounder could come into West Indies calculations for World Cup after IPL blitz

AFP & Cricket Network

12 April 2019, 02:30 PM AEST

West Indies outcast Kieron Pollard is targeting a return to the national team for the World Cup, saying he hopes his problems with the West Indies board are in the past.

The 31-year-old, who last played an ODI in 2016, said he was "blacklisted" under the previous regime but was hopeful of a recall after last month's ousting of controversial board president Dave Cameron.

On Thursday, West Indies appointed Floyd Reifer as their new interim cricket head coach to replace Richard Pybus, while Robert Haynes was also appointed as the new chairman of selectors as part of a restructuring of West Indies cricket flagged last week by new president Ricky Skerritt.

The moves will seemingly pave the way for an end to the long-running stand-off between the Caribbean’s best players and the Windies administration over national selection.

Previously, players needed to compete in domestic competitions in order to be considered for international selection in that format of the game, meaning several big names were cast out of the Windies side as the domestic tournaments often clashed with lucrative T20 leagues around the globe.

The likes of Dwayne Bravo and Pollard have been playing almost exclusively franchise Twenty20 cricket in recent years, while Andre Russell has not played an ODI since last July.

A statement read: “the new policy is simply one that if a player can still get selected for the team, they must be considered. There will be no reason for non-consideration other than form or fitness."

Haynes added: "We are creating a level playing field for everyone based on form and fitness. We have outstanding talent across the region and consistently selecting our best team possible is paramount for our future success."

After his match-winning display for Mumbai in the IPL on Wednesday night, Pollard said he hoped it was the start of a new era.

"There has been a lot of turmoil in West Indies cricket over the last couple of years. We have seen in the last couple of weeks there's a change," he said.

"The most I can do every time I step on the cricket field is try to put runs on the board. There's people there who have the job to select (the World Cup squad) and let's see how that goes.

"We have a new chairman of selectors, there's a new president of the cricket board, and you take it as it comes."

Barbados-born Reifer, who played six Tests, eight one-day internationals and one Twenty20 international for West Indies, is set to mentor the side into this northern summer's tournament, which the Windies last won in 1979.

"I believe that I have the skills, technical abilities and winning mindset to impart on the West Indies team as we look forward to improved and consistent performances, especially as we aspire to win the Cricket World Cup for the third time," Reifer said.

"I want to help restore pride to our fans here in the Caribbean and around the world. We're here to win, not just compete."

West Indies start the World Cup against Pakistan at Nottingham on May 31.

Australia's World Cup fixtures

May 25: (warm-up) England v Australia, Southampton

May 27: (warm-up) Australia v Sri Lanka, Southampton

June 1: Afghanistan v Australia, Bristol (D/N)

June 6: Australia v West Indies, Trent Bridge

June 9: India v Australia, The Oval

June 12: Australia v Pakistan, Taunton

June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval

June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge

June 25: England v Australia, Lord's

June 29: New Zealand v Australia, Lord's (D/N)

July 6: Australia v South Africa, Old Trafford (D/N)

July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford

July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston

July 14: Final, Lord's

For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE