After playing for Mumbai Indians for 13 seasons, West Indies legend Kieron Pollard announced his retirement from India Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday. 

However, he will continue with the Mumbai Indians family in his new role as the batting coach for the team.  

“It hasn’t been the easiest decision to make as I intend to keep playing for a few more years, but following discussions with Mumbai Indians I have decided to call time on my IPL career. I understand that this incredible franchise which has achieved so much needs to transition and if I’m no longer to play for MI then I cannot see myself playing against MI either, ‘Once an MI always an MI,'” he said in a statement. 

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He continued: “I am immensely proud, honoured and blessed to have represented the biggest and most successful team in the IPL for the past 13 seasons. It was always an aspiration to play for this fantastic team and although I will miss the buzz of the IPL you get as a player, I take comfort in knowing that I have been fortunate enough to have played with some of the best players in the world in front of our passionate fans. I have always felt and appreciated their unconditional support both on and off the field.”

Pollard’s statement took a nostalgic turn as he recalled how his team has won won the Champions League in 2011 and 2013 and the IPL in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. 

He thanked coaches and managers and other support team staff at Mumbai Indians. for their “hard work, dedication, and commitment to creating the best environment.” He also paid a special tribute to his friend Robin Singh and predecessor, “for his sound advice and guidance over the years and whose very shoes I now fill.”

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Pollard also expressed his “deep appreciation to Mukesh, Nita, and Akash Ambani for their tremendous love, support, and respect I have always felt and for the confidence, they placed in me.” He also extended his gratitude to his “friends and family especially my wife, Jenna, and my three beautiful children for all the love, support, and the many sacrifices they have made over the years and will continue to make to allow me to fulfill my childhood dream of playing cricket at the highest levels for such a long time.”

The Ambanis have also issued statements on their star player’s retirement. 

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Nita said: “For me, Pollard has exemplified what Mumbai Indians stand for – Khelenge Dil Khol Ke! Right from Season 3, we have shared joy, sweat, and tears – those powerful emotions that forge lifelong bonds on and off the field. He has played an important role in the success of MI and been a part of the winning side for both our Champions League trophies and all 5 IPL wins. We will miss seeing his magic on the field for MI, but I’m delighted that he will continue to play for MI Emirates, and also mentor young players as the batting coach for MI. May his new journey with MI and MI Emirates bring him even greater glory, triumph, and fulfillment. I wish him all the very best!”

Akash said: “Polly leaves behind a huge legacy as a player with Mumbai Indians. Fans roared every time he took to the field. A valued member of the MI family and a great friend, he played the beautiful game of cricket with utmost commitment and passion all through his IPL career with us. Pleased to have Polly continue to be a part of the MI Family as a batting coach for Mumbai Indians and as player with MI Emirates. We believe, Polly will be as dynamic and impactful as a coach, just like the way he was, when he took to the field for us. His insights will be invaluable to the team, though the Mumbai Indians, Wankhede Stadium and the Paltan will miss him play on the field.”