Cricket West Indies (CWI) Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams has justified the selection of Trinidadian Dwayne Bravo on the West Indies’ team to face Ireland in the upcoming three-match T20 series against Ireland.
Bravo was named on the team after an absence of four years and will take the field on Thursday against the Irish at the Grenada National Stadium. He last played for the West Indies T20 unit in November 2016 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia.
Asked the selectors’ justification for his pick given he has not played serious competitive T20 cricket since he was injured out of last year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Adams said the selection of the best T20 World Cup squad may have forced their hand.
“He would have been injured during the last CPL and we are cognizant of that. Seeing that there is no regional T20 tournament between now and when a team for a potential World Cup can be selected, he has been drafted in against Ireland,” Adams told Guardian Media on Monday.
“In my discussion with the selectors, they were keen on Dwayne playing some T20 cricket not just at club level, which he can do in various leagues, but they wanted to see why he is at in terms of international readiness.”
Bravo will play under his close friend Kieron Pollard, who replaced him as captain of the Trinbago Knight Riders when he got injured before the start of the 2019 CPL.
Adams said while Bravo undoubtedly had experience, they still needed to ensure he would be able to give himself ready for the rigours of the highest level of the game.
“When you look at Dwayne’s experience and ability as a cricketer we should give ourselves a chance to see him before we get down to looking at a squad for the World Cup. The West Indies will be defending their World Cup title won in India four years ago in Australia come October this year,” he said.
“Looking at what T20 tournaments there is ahead, all that is there is the Pakistan Super League outside of international cricket and I think that the selectors are keen to start the process of looking at him to see where he’s at early with the World Cup in mind.”
CWI chairman of selectors Roger Harper also justified Bravo’s selection as they announced the squad over the weekend. “Dwayne Bravo was recalled with the specific intention of bolstering our ‘death’ bowling, which was identified as an area that really needs improving. His record in this department speaks for itself. He will also be able to act as a mentor to the other ‘death’ bowlers and lend his experience wherever needed.”
Bravo has played 66 T20 internationals, scoring 1,1,42 runs at an average of 24.29. His best effort with the bat is 66 not out while he also has 52 wickets at an average of 28.26 and a best haul of 4/28.
Many cricket fans believe Bravo may have been one of the casualties of the dispute former CWI head Dave Cameron had with several of the top stars during his tenure.
Speaking about recall meanwhile, Bravo said he was thrilled and anxious to help the younger players in the squad.
“It’s a good feeling and I feel like a kid again … it was something on my mind since the change of leadership so I’m just happy that I got the opportunity again to represent the region, and I’m looking forward to doing my best,” Bravo told i95FM.
“What excites me is the young talent we have there now with all those players there. I just want to contribute and build on something that I think is very special in the making.”