On July 10, 2017, Pollock celebrated his 22nd birthday as an attacking batsman in Warwickshire’s 2nd XI hoping to get a first-team crack with Birmingham Bears in the upcoming Vitality Blast.
He did get a crack – and he’s been cracking the ball around in the format to the most spectacular effect ever since.
So much so that Pollock celebrates his 23rd birthday today with the best strike-rate in world T20 cricket.
The atmosphere against Yorkshire was amazing and it gets almost to like Finals Day. All the kids were in and there are little moments in the field where you can hear them.Ed Pollock
It was his ever-vigilant Bears team-mate Josh Poysden who pointed out that top T20 strike-rate currently stands at 168.99 per 100 balls by Rajasthan Royals hitter Krishnappa Gowtham, followed by 167.57 by the Bears’ Black Caps ace Colin de Grandhomme.
He is not included on the world list because he has yet to face the 250 balls required to qualify, but that qualification is designed to keep the list clear of players who have batted very few times and got lucky.
Pollock will be on it as soon as he is eligible. That there is a lot more to his runs than luck is shown by his T20 batting average of 30.25. We are not talking about six and out here. His knocks are generally brief but usually match-changing – for example his 14-ball 39, including 33 off the first over, to lift the Bears towards victory over Yorkshire Vikings on Sunday.
From nowhere, Pollock has become one of the hottest properties in English cricket – and he attributes a lot of credit to first-team coach Jim Troughton and captain Grant Elliott.
“Jim and Grant are very clear on my role,” Pollock said. “They just tell me to take those first six overs and play as freely as I can. Luckily I’ve been feeling in good nick and it’s worked the last few times.
“It was to great come off in that role against Yorkshire. I was seeing the ball quite nicely and it helps when you are chasing a middle-ish target because you know if you can get the guys off to a good start it will take the pressure off at the back end. My part was perfectly set-up by the bowlers and fielding unit who gave us a smallish chase on an excellent pitch.
“It also helps opening with Ian Bell. You know you can trust that Belly is going to be there and playing his way. I still find it quite surreal as I was only ten when I watched the 2005 Ashes and grew up watching him play, so now playing alongside him is a great experience.”
Pollock now has his sights set on delivering more pyrotechnics in the Bears’ home double-header next weekend, against Leicestershire Foxes on Friday (6.30pm) and Durham Jets on Sunday (1pm).
“We’re all really looking forward to back-to-back home games,” he said. “The atmosphere against Yorkshire was amazing and it gets almost to like Finals Day. All the kids were in and there are little moments in the field where you can hear them and when we are taking wickets – it’s great to have them behind you.
“There are still 11 games to go in the group but our momentum is starting to build nicely and I think we have plenty in the tank so these are exciting times. We spoke after we lost to Worcestershire about staying level – we don’t want to get too high when we’re winning and too low when we lose, but it’s been very nice so far and a good start, we’re moving in the right direction.”