Carl Hooper: ‘A shame if Bravo doesn’t get to play in the WC’

Former West Indies captain Carl Hooper believes that the presence of Bravo would have bolstered West Indies’ chances at the ICC World Cup 2019

Dwayne Bravo hasn't played for West Indies since 2016.   -  PTI

Former West Indies captain, Carl Hooper, has hit out at the Caribbean selectors for naming Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard as standby and not including them in the final squad for the World Cup.

“It seriously raises question mark about the selection policies. Are you telling me that there is no way to pick Bravo and Pollard in the final 15?,” Hooper, who has featured in four World Cups, told Sportstar from Adelaide.

Making it clear that the presence of Bravo would have bolstered West Indies’ chances in the tournament, which begins in England from next week, Hooper said: “I was under the impression that Bravo had announced retirement but now that he is available, you must pick him.”

The 35-year-old Bravo donned the West Indies jersey for the last time in 2016 but he has continued to make himself available for the T20 leagues across the globe.

Hooper admits that if Bravo is named in the final squad, it would strengthen the team's pace attack.

“He(Bravo) brings in so much variety to the bowling department and by putting him as a reserve, are you telling me that someone like a Shanon Gabriel will contribute more than Bravo? Come on, man! It’s a shame if he doesn’t get a chance to play in the World Cup.” — Carl Hooper

 

“He brings in so much variety to the bowling department and by putting him as a reserve, are you telling me that someone like a Shanon Gabriel will contribute more than Bravo? Come on, man!,” a rather disappointed Hooper said, adding: “It’s a shame if he doesn’t get a chance to play in the World Cup.”

West Indies cricket is undergoing a sea-change with new president Ricky Skerritt taking charge and Hooper feels that efforts should be taken to ensure that ‘bygones are bygones’. “Look, in the past, we have had issues with players for various reasons. But let bygones be bygones. Now, that we have got a new president and a new administration, it is important we start afresh,” Hooper said.

The players, he said, had issues with the policies implemented by the former Board chief, Dave Cameron. “But now, with Cameron gone, we should try and send our best squad. It’s an easy decision to drop two players and bring in Bravo and Pollard. If they are brought in, then the West Indies side will be very well settled for the tournament,” Hooper said, making it clear that it is important to have more clarity on the selection process.

“This policy (of naming seasoned players like Bravo and Pollard as standby) is confusing and will open can of worms for the supporters. They will start questioning and I am afraid, some of the fans have already raised eyebrows on this issue,” the 52-year-old Hooper, who captained the West Indies team in 2003 World Cup, said.

Both Pollard and Bravo had good outings in the just concluded Indian Premier League (IPL). Featuring for Mumbai Indians, Pollard amassed 279 runs, with a highest score of 83. Bravo, on the other hand, picked up 11 wickets for Chennai Super Kings and also contributed 80 runs with the bat.