Pollard to lead MI Cape Town as Pooran takes captaincy reins at MI Emirates for upcoming SA20, ILT20

By Sports Desk January 07, 2024

Former West Indies captain Kieron Pollard will lead MI Cape Town's hunt for glory in the second edition of South Africa's Premier Twenty20 League, SA20, while in his absence from the International League (ILT20), compatriot Nicholas Pooran will lead MI Emirates.

Pollard's appointment at MI Cape Town comes as Rashid Khan, who led the team last season, has been ruled out of the upcoming season, as he continues to recover from a back surgery. The ace leg spinner was named in the Afghanistan squad on January 6 for their three-match T20I series in India, but is unlikely to play, according to a statement from his cricket board (ACB). Khan also missed Afghanistan's most recent T20I series in the UAE and the Big Bash League (BBL).

As such, the powerfully built Pollard has not only been drafted to make his debut in the SA20 but will lead from the front given his experience as a five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) Champion, a two-time Champions League (CLT20) Champion, and a Major League (MLC) Champion, across the Mumbai Indians franchises.

The explosive middle-order batsman was also retained by MI Emirates for the upcoming ILT20 campaign, but with its dates clashing with the SA20's, Pooran has been given the reins of MI Emirates captaincy. It remains to be seen whether Pollard will join MI Emirates for the last leg of the ILT20 in the UAE.

Pollard was recently in action for New York Strikers in the Abu Dhabi T10 league, where his side lost the final to Deccan Gladiators.

Pooran, who also plays with Pollard at Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), recently declined his West Indies central contract to become a free agent.

The left-hand batsman, who is also a former West Indies white-ball captain, Pooran was unveiled as Durban's Super Giants' wildcard pick in September 2023, and is likely to play three matches in the SA20 before linking up with MI Emirates for the second season of the ILT20.

The one-month SA20 will run from January 10 to February 10, and the ILT20 from January 19 to February 17. The two leagues will also clash with New Zealand's Super Smash and the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

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