My previous three articles have attempted to provide a perspective for the future development of the eastern coastal areas of Trinidad.
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Bravo among five Trinis for Kiwis
All rounder Dwayne Bravo is among five T&T players who have been called up in a squad of 20 players to prepare for the upcoming West Indies versus New Zealand Test series. Bravo will be joined by newly-elected West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin, his half-brother Darren, fast bowler Shannon Gabriel and mystery spinner Sunil Narine. The squad of 20 was chosen by the regional selection panel headed by Guyanese Clyde Butts and will move to Barbados on June 1 for a camp, then on to Jamaica for the opening match against the Kiwis.
The last time Bravo walked on to the field in white for the West Indies was on December 5, 2010. Since then he has been involved in 50 overs cricket in which he is captain of the team, and T20 cricket. With Darren Sammy’s departure from Test cricket, the way was opened for Bravo to make a return as the preferred fast bowling all rounder. Bravo’s Test record reveals that in 40 matches, he has scored 2,200 runs at an average of 31.42. He has a Test best of 113 and has scored three centuries and 13 50s. In the bowling department he has taken 86 wickets at 39.89 with a best haul of 6/55.
Recently Bravo made his frustrations public in terms of not playing Test matches. “To be honest I was very disappointed that I was not able to make the Test squad within that time since 2010. In the little time I’ve played Test cricket, I think I’ve done good enough to still at least be part of West Indies attack. “From the selectors down to the coach as well, every day I see them, I abuse them,” Bravo joked. “I keep asking what it is I have to do again to be selected. Obviously, they can’t really give a proper answer so it always finishes off with a small laugh. Nothing really serious comes out of it.”
Now it is all in his hands as he bids to get into the final squad that will make the trip from Barbados to Jamaica. Another player making a comeback is fast bowler Shannon Gabriel. The burly pacer went off the boil last year but this season he returned some credible performances for T&T in the Regional four-day tournament. Gabreil took 22 wickets at 21.09 in seven matches with a best of 6/84. Batsman Darren Bravo, who has struggled to find his best form, since spanking a double century against the New Zealanders in New Zealand earlier this year, will be looking to work hard at his game during the camp to get back into the final team.
Narine is expected to partner Shane Shillingford in the spin attack and they will definitely give the home team the edge playing on spin friendly tracks in the Caribbean. The 20 players called to prepare are: Denesh Ramdin (captain), Chris Gayle, Kraigg Brathwaite, Keiran Powell, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Jermaine Blackwood, Sunil Narine, Shannon Gabriel, Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn, Shane Shillingford, Kenroy Peters, Shane Dowrich, Ashley Nurse, Jason Holder and Kemar Roach.