Kieron Pollard, seen in action here for the erstwhile Kerala Kings team, is no stranger to the T10 format in the UAE. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Kolkata: Kieron Pollard, one of the giants of franchise cricket who will be leading Deccan Gladiators in the Abu Dhabi T10 League from next week, promises they have got a few surprises up their sleeves for their opponents. The event will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi from January 28 - February 6.

“I’m most excited about playing with the group that we have assembled at Deccan Gladiators. I can’t wait to go out there with matchwinners like (Sunil) Narine, (Imran) Tahir, (Mohammed) Shahzad, (Colin) Ingram, local UAE star Zahoor Zhan and others. We also have a few surprises up our sleeves for our opponents,” said the giant West Indian, who stood in for Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma when the latter was injured during the IPL 2020 in the UAE.


The owner of over 10,000 runs in the T20 format felt that the T10 format is more than what they call see-ball-hit-ball. “The thrill and excitement of T10 is limitless. But it’s actually not too dissimilar to the kind of cricket I grew up playing. It’s not about see ball hit ball. You need to be able to think on your feet, anticipate and execute plans without pausing too much. It suits me to be honest and my experience stands me in good stead when reading the opposition,” the 33-year-old Jamaican said.

Pollard added that a team is never out of the game in T10 cricket, “It’s (T10) a great concept and one that’s designed to create continuous excitement. You are never out of the game so those watching on the screen are glued to it every ball.”

Meanwhile, the Gladiators team owner Gaurav Grover expressed that the side is aiming nothing short of winning the trophy, “The target of Deccan Gladiators this time would definitely be to win the trophy. With the changes in the helm this year, there are high expectations from the Gladiators. We have taken care of every flaw we had, which might have been the reason for last year’s defeat (in the final).”

Grover added that the Gladiators have enough firepower to win the competition, “We have West Indian powerhouse as our captain – Kieron Pollard and our Icon Player himself is fearless and unbounded spinner – Sunil Narine. Also, our team is packed with threatening bowlers such as fast bowler Aaron Summers and (leg-spinner) Imran Tahir. Talking about batsmen, we have Mohammad Shahzad, who is also a wicketkeeper.”