Don't blame us - Bravo ... Cricketer blasts CWI over lack of commitment
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC):
Discarded all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has accused Cricket West Indies (CWI) of using senior players as scapegoats for its muddled selection policy and the team's subsequent failure to qualify automatically for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Further, the experienced campaigner said these players, who in the past were repeatedly overlooked by selectors, are now having their commitment to West Indies cricket falsely questioned, simply to find excuses in case the Windies flop at the ICC World Cup qualifiers in March.
He argued that CWI had made it clear prior to the 2015 World Cup that they were moving on to younger players in order to build a team for the 2019 edition, but were now attempting to blame senior players for the disarray in the ODI setup.
"The West Indies knew they had to play the qualifiers since [last September] in England," the outspoken Bravo told I95FM Radio from Australia, where he is currently playing in the Big Bash League.
"They knew for a while they had to play the qualifiers so I think they just trying to shift the blame for their failures, shift the blame towards the players by using these three players (Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo) - and even including myself - by saying they have reached out to the senior players and the senior players turned their backs on West Indies cricket.
"So, therefore, if it is that the West Indies go there in the qualifiers and they don't get through that stage and they don't make it to the World Cup, then they have somebody to blame. [They would then say] 'the big boys didn't want to play, the senior guys didn't want to play so what do you expect'."
He continued: "In 2015 when the team went to the last World Cup when Pollard and myself got dropped, the president (Dave Cameron) and chairman of selectors at that time (Clive Lloyd) said they were taking the ODI team in a new direction, they were going to invest in the youngsters and build for 2019.
"So their aim in 2015 was to build for 2019 - that was their aim and their vision. So why now in 2018, going into 2019, the same team that they were building for the next World Cup, why all of a sudden [do] you need all of these drastic changes now.
"These are the same [players] you invest in and the guys who were not in the squad, are the same people who were available to play for you and you did not select."
Last Thursday, in announcing a 15-member squad for the qualifiers in Zimbabwe, CWI said it had reached out to Pollard, Darren Bravo, Narine and Andre Russell, but all declined selection in favour of fulfilling commitments in the Pakistan Super League.