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Ambrose: Windies world T20 success rest with Bravo

Sunday, March 6, 2016
Dwayne Bravo

DUBA—Bowling consultant Sir Curtly Ambrose believes veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo will be key to any successful West Indies bid at the Twenty20 World Cup starting next week. Sir Curtly hailed the 32-year-old Trinidadian as a “superstar”, pointing out that his abilities in the game shortest format were unrivalled.

“Dwayne Bravo is a pro in T20. There’s no two ways about it,” Sir Curtly said.

“He’s a superstar. He understands T20 cricket and he’s going to be an asset for us in this World T20 tournament. There’s really nothing much I can say to him in terms of his bowling because he’s just a pro, and he’s one of the guys who’s going to lead the other bowlers.”

Bravo is the most experienced T20 player in the West Indies squad with 285 games. He campaigns in all the major domestic leagues across the globe, and is one of the more skilful seamers in the T20 format. He has already proven his worth during the warm-up matches here, with two-wicket hauls in both warm-up games against Zimbabwe and three wickets against English County Warwickshire on Friday.

Sir Curtly said Bravo’s extensive knowledge of the T20 format made him an invaluable asset for West Indies.

“He’s so experienced and understands what to do in T20 cricket so I’m going to count on him to lead the other bowlers along,” he pointed out.

“I am happy with the way he’s bowling and of course he’s one of those guys that … is a bit of a motivator as well so he’s going to play a huge part in our success.”

Simmons pulls out of T20 squad

DUBAI—Batsman Lendl Simmons has become the latest player to withdraw from the West Indies squad for next week’s Twenty20 World Cup in India. The 31-year-old has failed to recover from a back injury and missed the ongoing preparation camp here. He will remain in T&T to recuperate.

West Indies selectors are yet to name a replacement. Simmons, one of the leading Twenty20 openers, joins Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo, who have all pulled out of the squad.

Pollard withdrew because of injury, Narine requested more time to work on his action while Bravo opted to play for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the Regional four-day championship.

The constant withdrawals, coupled with the players’ recent contracts row with the West Indies Cricket Board, had made for a rocky build-up for the team for the March 8 to April 3 ICC tournament.

West Indies play their fourth and final unofficial warm-up against Warwickshire on Sunday before flying to Kolkata on Monday to complete their preparation with official warm-up Twenty20s against Australia and India.