PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Outspoken all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has written off the present crop of Cricket West Indies (CWI) leadership, and says there is desperate need for a new kind of thinking in order to save the next generation of cricketers.
Speaking against the backdrop of the latest fracas betweeen CWI and the players, the former one-day skipper said the board had a history of mistreatment of players and this could only be changed if there was a wholesake shake-up at the top level of the administration.
“I am just concerned about the next generation of cricketers. West Indies have a history of treating players [badly],” a passionate Bravo told I95 FM Radio here.
“They treated players badly before my time, they treated players badly during my time and … it’s just a history of treating players badly. And players always get the blame and when a player does not perform he gets dropped, and that’s it.
“Do you hear anybody getting sacked or resigning [from the board]. The best coach (Phil Simmons) West Indies had in how much years, the only coach that players loved and were dying to play for, West Indies sacked him because he stand up for the players.”
Bravo, who is currently playing in the Australia Big Bash, said the future of West Indies cricket was bleak, and stressed that the Dave Cameron-led administration was incapable of turning around the situation.
The major problem, the 34-year-old argued, was the need for “new blood”, pointing out that the current leadership had already been in place for an extended period, and had little results to show.
“It’s just sad to see what West Indies cricket [has come to] and I’m sorry for the younger players who’re coming through,” the Trinidadian continued.
“They’re not being paid well, one, and the system is terrible, so the future of West Indies cricket is in a very bad state; and those who are in charge now, they cannot help. West Indies need a new blood of thinking, they need new people.
“Those board directors [have been] there for how much years? Like 20-something years and 30-something years and nothing [has changed]. Look at the structure of West Indies cricket, look at the facilities in the Caribbean.”
Controversy erupted last Thursday when chief selector Courtney Browne said the senior quartet of Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo and Andre Russell had declined selection for the upcoming ICC World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.
In a statement, Browne said they had reached out to the players who had “indicated that they were unavailable to help us qualify as their priority was playing in the Pakistan Super League”.
CWI president Cameron said the board was “very disappointed” by the players’ decision, adding “we’ll probably not invite those players to be a part of Cricket West Indies going forward”.
Cameron’s comments drew a sharp rebuke from Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board president Azim Bassarath, and Bravo, too, was also critical of the Jamaican administrator.
“The president of the West Indies is a bully. You challenge him, you stand up to him and he clicks his fingers to get rid of you. That’s it.”
Bravo reiterated his claim that West Indies selectors were only now interested in the senior players because of the team’s failure to earn automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup, and the subsequent desperation to secure one of the remaining two berths at the qualifiers in March.
Previously, Bravo argued, senior players had been repeatedly overlooked.
“They need to stop throwing around these things and making people think that the players are not committed,” he contended.
“They are not committed to us. they were never interested in us before they reach this situation they’re in now. It’s only now they’re reaching out to us because they’re in a crisis situation.”