Hardik Pandya has spoken in the past of how important Kieron Pollard has been to him as a mentor.
The former West Indies all-rounder on Tuesday announced his retirement from the Indian Premier League ahead of the auction for the next season.
Hailed as one of the greatest players in the shortest format of the game, Kieron Pollard decided to bid farewell to the IPL after spending 13 seasons with record-time winners Mumbai Indians.
On Tuesday, Pollard announced his retirement by taking to his social media and sharing a long note for his fans and cricketers all around the world. However, he confirmed that he will continue working with the Mumbai Indians franchise in his new role as batting coach.
“This is not an emotional goodbye to MI however as I have agreed to take up the role of batting coach in the IPL as well as play with MI Emirates. This next chapter of my career is genuinely exciting and allows me to transition myself too from playing to coaching.”
All-rounder Hardik Pandya has joined the row of tributes. Pandya shared the dressing room with Pollard for a number of years and has spoken in the past of how important the Trinidadian was to him as a mentor.
“My Polly, I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor and friend. Playing alongside you on the field has been one of the best experiences of my career so far. Never a dull moment. I wish you the best for your new role,” said Pandya in his Instagram post.
Meanwhile, hours after Kieron Pollard announced his retirement, former India and Mumbai Indians batsman Sachin Tendulkar paid a special tribute to West Indies icon Kieron Pollard.
“Happy Retirement @KieronPollard55 even though it would be upsetting to not see you play in the IPL, I know there is more of you that is yet to be seen. Many congratulations to you on becoming the new batting coach for Mumbai Indians and on your incredible career.”
Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, Pollard’s former teammates Harbhajan Singh and Jasprit Bumrah also wrote heartfelt notes for the former West Indies all-rounder.
Former MI captain Harbhajan tweeted.,
“Polly my man you have won lot of hearts during ur long stint with @mipaltan Good luck as a batting coach and future .. See you soon Big man Love always.”
Also, MI pacer Bumrah also took to his social media and wrote that it will take some time to get used to the all-rounder not being on the field.
“It’ll take some used to you not being on the field out there with us, but I’ll still enjoy our banter in the nets. Congratulations on an incredible career Polly and all the best for your new innings @KieronPollard55,” added Bumrah, who also kickstarted his IPL career at Mumbai Indians.”
Also former MI fast bowler Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka had added his best wishes.
“Happy Retirement Polly!
You are unarguably one of the most valuable T20 players ever. An absolute monster with the bat, a street-smart bowler, and a gun fielder.”
“You were an integral part of the greatest T20 team ever assembled. The amount of energy and the competitiveness you brought into that team was unmatched. I really enjoyed playing alongside you big man”
“All the best for the next phase of your cricket journey. Mumbai Indians’ batting will surely go from strength to strength under your guidance.”