Nottingham-born Paul Pollard spent ten seasons at his home county club, plus a couple of years at Worcestershire, but has been closely involved in cricket for more than thirty years and looks set to continue as he is now an established umpire.
Pollard, a stylish left-handed opening bat and an occasional – very occasional – right-arm medium pace bowler was born on 24 September 1968 and played his first Second XI cricket for Nottinghamshire versus Derbyshire in 1985, in which he scored 9 and 0. He first appeared for the Under-25s in the Warwick Pool competition in 1986, also against Derbyshire; batting down the order, he did not get an innings but he was soon moved up to opener and began to compile runs in sufficient numbers to earn a place in the Notts first team.
On his First-Class debut the following year, yet again v Derbyshire, he contributed 31 runs to an opening partnership of 72 with Mick Newell, who went on to make the small matter of 203no, in an innings victory for Notts. Pollard’s maiden First-Class century came in June 1988 when he scored 142 and came close to rescuing Notts from a hopeless position against Kent at Dartford; having been 250 in front at the end of the first innings, Kent scraped home by two wickets. In 1989 he passed 1,000 runs for the season for the first of three occasions in county cricket and contributed 77 to a semi-final win in the Benson & Hedges Cup, again Kent were the opposition, but scored just two in a losing cause in the final.
Performances like that secured his place in the first team and throughout the 1990s he played regularly, making many useful innings in red-ball and white-ball cricket. Towards the end of that decade, his form dipped and he left Trent Bridge to sign for Worcestershire, starting the 1999 season for his new club. Injuries limited his appearances for the New Road team and although he made a couple of centuries he was not able to reproduce his form of previous years. In August 2002, Pollard announced his retirement from the First-Class game. He had one season (2003) at Minor Counties level with Lincolnshire, for whom he played several sizeable innings, and appeared twice in the C&G Trophy.
Paul Pollard played in the Nottinghamshire Premier League for a number of years, playing for Kimberley Institute, Clifton Village and Welbeck Colliery; his club career overlapped with him achieving qualification as an umpire and for a few years he combined standing in some games with turning out in the local leagues.
He first stood in a major match in July 2010, officiating between the England Academy Women and New Zealand women. Since then he has been on-field and TV umpire at every level of cricket outside the international game, making almost the same number appearances as an umpire, 377 (to date) than he did as a player, 379.
For Nottinghamshire, Pollard scored 8,347 First-Class runs at 32.73 with a top score of 180 against, who else, Derbyshire; he made 13 centuries and passed fifty a further 40 times. In 149 List-A games he scored 4,122, with 132no v Somerset his top score, at 33.24 with five hundreds. His rarely-used bowling brought him four First-Class wickets at 67.00.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 505