West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard will not join Peshawar Zalmi for the remainder of this year's Pakistan Super League.
Pollard was scheduled to be part of the Zalmi squad for the rest of the tournament, after captaining the West Indies against Sri Lanka in ODI and T20I cricket recently. Zalmi are priced at 5.50 by bet365 to win the 2020 PSL.
He has, however, been sidelined by a right thigh injury. Fellow West Indian all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite was in the Zalmi squad as cover prior to Pollard's arrival. Brathwaite, though, remain with the squad for the rest of the 2020 PSL in the wake of Pollard's injury.
“I'm sorry I can't be there in person this year but the team has some inspirational characters leading the charge and I'm sure can give Darren Sammy his first trophy as a head coach,” said Pollard.
Sammy no longer Zalmi captain
He was referencing Sammy's recent change from captain to head coach. Sammy has succeeded former head coach Mohammad Akram, who has become director of cricket. Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz has taken over as captain.
“As a player, it's always difficult to make the transition. The truth is the last two years I've played not fully fit. This year, I feel I'm ready to go, but if there's one thing that made Peshawar Zalmi what it is, my message is to do what's necessary, what's best for the team. As a leader, I feel I've demonstrated that,” added Sammy.
“This year, my preparation and form has not been exactly what I wanted it to perform in the best way possible. So we came to this decision to do what was best for the team. If I'm asking my players to do what's best for the team, then I must practice what I preach. I still have the option to select myself, but I think for this tournament right now, looking at the young players we have, it's time for me to lead the team in a different role.”
The Quetta Gladiators, meanwhile, will be without fast bowler Naseem Shah for at least a week. He has been sidelined by an ankle injury sustained against Zalmi on 5 March.
“We haven't decided about any replacement yet because we are hopeful that he will recover before our game against Multan Sultans in Lahore on 11 March 11,” Quetta manager Azam Khan told ESPNcricinfo.