Dwayne Bravo blasts West Indies selectors

Dwayne Bravo was appointed ODI captain in 2013, but was axed a year-and-a-half later after he helped lead the players fight against the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Players Association, which resulted in the controversial abandoned tour of India.

Dwayne Bravo said that as little interest is being shown by selectors, he had turned his attention to the lucrative Twenty20 leagues across the globe.   -  V. Ganesan

All-rounder Dwayne Bravo has said he is still committed to playing for the West Indies, but was forced to quit Test cricket because of the poor treatment meted out to him by selectors.

Speaking ahead of his campaign in the Big Bash League in Australia for Melbourne Renegades, Bravo said here on Wednesday that with little interest being shown by selectors, he had turned his attention to the lucrative Twenty20 leagues across the globe, reports CMC.

“Until earlier this year, I was still interested to play Test cricket, but I have yet to hear anything from any selector what their plans are for me, what my position is,” Bravo lamented.

“I just decided it’s time to move on with my life and try to channel my energy in different places. I would have loved the opportunity to play Test cricket again, but since being dropped back in 2010, I never got the chance and I just decided to call it a day.”

He continued: “I’m not shutting down my opportunities to represent the West Indies; I still 100 per cent want to play for the West Indies in one day internationals and T20s.”

The 32-year-old played the last of his 40 Tests five years ago after scoring 2200 runs at an average of 31 runs per innings, taking 86 wickets. Following this protracted absence from the side, Bravo announced his retirement from the longer format in January this year.

He was appointed One-Day International captain in 2013, but was axed a year-and-a-half later after he helped lead the players fight against the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Players Association, which resulted in the controversial abandoned tour of India.

Bravo said many West Indies players felt more respected outside of the Caribbean, and this was behind their decision to ply their trade in tournaments like the Big Bash.

“I get frustrated at times, not only for myself but for all the other cricketers Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell. We all want to represent West Indies,” Bravo said.

“But sometimes, the way we have been treated over the years... why should we actually fight with West Indies cricket where the rest of the world opens their arms for us?”

“Yes, they pay us well, but at the same time we never feel disrespect in any way when we play for those teams around the world. We feel love. We feel well respected. Do we get that type of treatment back in the region? No we don’t.”

The Trinidadian has continued to feature in the West Indies T20 squad, however, and was part of the Darren Sammy-led squad which drew 1-1 with Sri Lanka in a two-match series last month.

However, with the T20 World Cup slated to bowl off in March next year, Bravo said he was taking nothing for granted about his selection.

“I would love to think that I would be good enough and have done enough to get selected for the T20 World Cup, but I’m not saying anything. I don’t know,” he said.

Simmons backs Windies to stage Melbourne fightback

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has promised a fightback from his team when they face-off against Australia in the second Test match starting on Boxing Day in Melbourne.

The West Indies lost the series opener by an innings and 212 runs but have regrouped and will be looking to make amends in the second match, as they try to make up for their disappointing showing in Hobart last week, reports CMC.

Simmons told reporters the West Indies had reflected, analysed where they had gone wrong and were now anxious to show their quality.

“The guys sat down and they know exactly what they have to do and they know that they’re capable of doing it. It’s not like it’s out of their league,” Simmons said on Wednesday.

“I’m looking forward to this next one. You saw the way how Darren Bravo played in the first innings, with a well compiled century, and the way Kraigg Brathwaite played in the second innings, he was solid and played strokes all around the wicket. That’s what we need more of, that kind of determination.”

He was speaking at the Simonds Stadium here as the West Indies held a training session on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of their two-day tour match against Cricket Victoria XI starting Saturday.

From here, they will take the one-hour drive to Melbourne to start preparations for the Boxing Day (December 26) contest.

Simmons said both the batting and bowling departments needed to prove their worth.

“The bowlers have been good in the last four or five Test matches — they weren’t good in the last one — and the batting has let us down quite a bit,” Simmons noted.

“The batting is at the point that we need to prove that we are as good as we’re made out to be. They’re good players, we know they can play at this level and it’s up to them to come out now and show everybody that they’re back in good nick.”