Pollard posted on Twitter overnight (SA time) on Wednesday that he had been granted a No Objection Certificate (NOC), which is required by all players around the world to feature for teams outside of their home country.
“NOC granted for both ram slam and big bash..!!Gonna use my god given talent was blessed with understanding as well reasonings not coinciding,” he said.
One of the most destructive hitters in the shortest format, the 29-year-old made a serious impact in his first T20 campaign for the Cobras in 2014/15, scoring 243 runs at an average of 81 and taking 14 wickets to help Paul Adams’ team clinch the title.
A knee injury suffered while fielding against the Knights in Paarl cut his tournament short to just four matches last year.
But Pollard nearly didn’t rejoin the Cobras this season after the WICB initially didn’t give him the clearance as they wanted to impose a new 20 percent levy – from the player’s fee – before the NOC would be granted.
Cobras chief executive Nabeal Dien told Independent Media on Wednesday that the SA Cricketers’ Association boss Tony Irish – who is also the chairman of the global players’ union Fica – got involved, while the West Indies Players’ Association (Wipa) had also voiced their concerns about the 20 percent fee.
“The West Indies Players Association (Wipa) takes note of the position taken by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) on the condition for issuance of a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to West Indian players,” read a statement.
“Wipa believes an imposition of a NOC levy by the WICB is not the answer to the lack of coherent global scheduling. A centrally regulated and co-ordinated international cricket programme for all three formats is necessary for the improvement of global cricket. As such, the International Cricket Council (ICC) will need to spearhead the complete restructure of the international cricket calendar.
“Wipa is totally against any new market restrictions or regulations that may limit our West Indian players. The present NOC levy of the WICB promotes the restraint of trade and is open to be challenged legally. To ensure that this matter is addressed immediately, we are proposing that the WICB meets with all stakeholders regionally (Wipa) and internationally (ICC, Fica) forthwith.”
Dien said: “It’s all over. It’s a huge relief, and Kieron will arrive and play in the first game. Our team will meet up with him in Johannesburg. He will arrive there on Friday.
“In a nutshell, they had a change in heart after realising what legal ramifications this may have had, as well as with the board. The fact that Pollard is not even contracted to the West Indies, it made no sense, legal sense. They knew it wouldn’t stand up in court, and that’s maybe the reason they decided otherwise.
“We are not paying the 20 percent, they’ve given it (the NOC) to us without that. The ICC didn’t accept their policy in an open meeting previously, and Haroon (Lorgat, Cricket South Africa chief executive) told me it has to be tabled at the next meeting.”
Pollard told Trinidad and Tobago website Newsday that “good sense prevailed” after being granted the NOC, but that he wasn’t sure about the 20 percent levy.
“That (20% player fee) was not discussed, that was not brought to my attention. Again from my understanding, the NOC and what I have received is the same that we have been receiving all along, so it is a change in position as to what they (WICB) would have said in their previous letter. It has been granted, and it’s all about me going out now and trying to put some performances together,” he said.
The Cobras will hope to make a good start to the T20 Challenge – which kicks off with a double-header at the Wanderers on Saturday – after a disastrous first half of the Sunfoil Series, where they lost three and drew two matches.
They will face the Knights in the first game at 1.30pm, which is followed by the Lions against the Titans at 6pm.
Original source: Pollard cleared by Windies for Cobras