While Bravo played well, once selected to represent us in the shorter version of the game during the English tour of the region, his selection may well be cause for concern in so far as the selection process is concerned.
It has always been the case that team selection for the West Indies team is a hotbed of confusion and controversy. Cricket enthusiasts in the Caribbean can never really claim to have a fix on the selection process. Regardless of who the selectors are there always seem to be controversy.
But the case of Bravo does not merely end with the selection to the shorter version of the game during the English tour of the Caribbean.
Bravo was not among the players selected to tour England for the current series and many an enthusiast wondered why. Given the way in which Bravo performed during the latter part of the English tour to the Caribbean one would have thought that he was fully recovered. If that were not the case then he is a remarkable player to have performed at such a level of excellence while not being fully fit.
Now we are hearing that Bravo may not have been fit for the longer version of the game – test matches. He seems well enough for the heavy, heady dynamism of the shorter version of the game but not for the rigours of test match cricket.
One wonders why anyone would expect West Indian cricketing enthusiasts to accept this type of rubbish.
Bravo was therefore allowed leave to play in the Indian Premier League, one of the most lucrative competitions the game has ever seen, second only to the Stanford examples.
Nothing that the West Indies Cricket Board can say about the Bravo situation could find acceptance among the sporting peoples of the region.
There may well be a case of money being in control given some of the remarks attributed to Bravo in a Trinidad newspaper some time ago. In that document Bravo was harshly critical of the WICB, including what he thought was a sort of insensitivity to the players. He was upset at the fact that players who got injured had to look after themselves.
Bravo may well have been looking after himself in his pursuance of his contract with the IPL.
In the end it does appear that Bravo is in receipt of some special consideration not necessarily available to the other players on the West Indies team.
The IPL, Gayle et al
The West Indies tour of England came at the same time that the Indian Premier league was starting. This was always going to be problematic for those players who had contracts with the bosses of the latter competition. There could have been no surprise therefore that some players would be upset of they were not allowed to honour their contracts and perhaps lose out on some more money. Even without the money considerations the WICB would probably have found itself in the bad books of the players anyway since they may have felt that enough consideration was not being given to them and their personal and professional plans.
Gayle is nonetheless the captain of the West Indies team. One wonders therefore why would the authorities not pay enough attention to the impact of his absence on the team. Clearly, the West Indies team would have been on a high, despite losing the One Day series in the final game of the English tour of the Caribbean. They would have certainly felt confident that they could defeat England wherever they meet in the future. However, it would necessitate the retention of the entire team so that the bonding and commitment could be considerably engendered.