Dwayne Bravo makes U-turn on retirement, available for T20Is

“I think this is the right time to return and contribute to the team,” says the West Indian all-rounder.

Dwayne Bravo had last played for his national side in the shortest format against Pakistan in September, 2016.   -  Sahil Hussain I

Former West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo announced his return to T20 Internationals here on Friday.

The all-rounder, a veteran of 40 Tests, 164 ODIs and 66 T20Is, had last year said he was retiring from all formats of the game. Reversing his decision, he has now made himself available for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

'Fit enough'

“I’d be making a return to international T20 cricket. I won’t be playing ODIs or Tests. I want to fully commit myself to the West Indies cricket team and play the T20 World Cup. Due to changes at the administration level (in Cricket West Indies), I think this is the right time to return and contribute to the team. I still believe I’m fit enough to play international cricket. All the administrators, coaches and players can now together work towards uplifting the team,” said Bravo at a press conference.

Read | WI assistant coach welcomes Bravo's international coach

West Indies became the first team to win two World T20 titles in 2016 and was on top of the ICC T20I team rankings for a long period. But now the team occupies the 10th spot behind the likes of Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

'Step by step'

“I’m going to take it step by step. The T20 World Cup is in October. There’s going to be at least 20 games before that. I want to earn my place in the squad. Windies were World No. 1 not long ago, now the team is ranked 10th. We have a good set of players. If managed well, they can take the team back to the pinnacle,” he added.

Bravo: 'Pollard (in picture) is a very passionate guy.' Pollard celebrates a wicket in the third T20I against India in Mumbai. Photo: Vivek Bendre

 

Bravo had last played for his national side in the shortest format against Pakistan in September, 2016. With Phil Simmons and Kieron Pollard taking over as coach and captain respectively, the 36-year-old feels the Windies can keep improving as a team from here on.

'Passionate' captain

“Pollard is a very passionate guy. His leadership skills are good. The coach-captain relationship is very important for any team. He and Phil enjoy a good relationship. They will mostly have the same plans and will be on the same page. The current administration backs them. Pollie in his short stint as captain (against Afghanistan and India) has already shown what he can do. He’s the one to take us forward.”

Read | T20 series review: India surmounts bat-first barrier, fielding a worry

Bravo also rated the youngsters in his national side as some of the best around. He feels players like Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer have the potential to dominate world cricket in the future.

“I’m very thrilled and excited with the youngsters in the West Indies team. The new management wants to mix experience with youth. The senior guys can guide exciting guys like Hetmyer, Hope etc. in their transition. We’re way better than our current ranking and the mix of youth and experience will definitely help us improve,” he said.

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