Dwayne Bravo takes strong objection to the accusation that top West Indies players don't put their country first
It's been a tumultuous last few months for Dwayne Bravo ever since he led the walkout of the West Indies team midway from the India tour last October due to payment structure issues with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
Former West Indies skipper Dwayne Bravo. Pic/Getty Images
Thereafter, he lost his ODI captaincy to Jason Holder and Clive Lloyd & Co chose to overlook Bravo for the ODI series against South Africa as well as the World Cup.
Although its seven months since he last wore the West Indies jersey, Bravo says he is still committed to play for his country.
Bravo, one of the most sort-after cricketers in T20 leagues around the world, and some other top Caribbean stars are often accused of not putting their country first. However, Bravo takes strong objection to this accusation.
"That is not fair to say. Whenever West Indies are playing, we all make ourselves available. We also cut short our contracts (with the franchisees). We only play in (T20) leagues whenever we are free. We have always put our country first, but if they (WICB) don't want to pick us then what we should do? Sit at home and wait..."
Bravo fumed during an interaction with mid-day on Wednesday. Bravo explained what makes them ply their trade in T20 leagues around the world. "We only play the limited overs format and that is why you don't see us playing Test cricket. I have retired from Test cricket (in January this year) and (Kieron) Pollard has never played Test cricket all this while because he is never selected.
Lack of opportunity
"Even though he has a lot better first-class average (37.71) than the guys who are currently in the Test team, he never gets an opportunity. "To say that (Chris) Gayle, Pollard and myself don't put our country first is not right. It is about time people better get it right. We are always committed to West Indies. The players are there to play, but if we don't get selected then we can't do much about it. There are a couple of tours coming up. Let's see how it goes," Bravo stated.
Bravo on Wednesday reportedly had a meeting with West Indies head coach Phil Simmons on his possible return to Test cricket, but the 31-year-old later ruled out reversing his decision which he took after being stripped of the ODI captaincy earlier this year.
'I had to move on'
"I just want to say that my last Test was in 2010 (against Sri Lanka). I have been dropped for five years and I haven't been given a proper reason for it. So, I don't see why people are making a big deal about my decision to retire from Tests. Five years have gone and nothing has happened. I had to move on with my life,"
What irked Bravo more was when doubts were raised about his commitment to Test cricket. "I had six fruitful years (from 2004 to 2010) in Test cricket before being dropped for no reason. And then after five years, questions got raised about my commitment. I am not playing Test cricket because I was dropped for five years and I didn't see myself getting selected again. So, I decided to move on," he concluded.