West Indies’ chairman of selectors, Clive Lloyd has insisted that both Darren Bravo and Kieron Pollard have been dropped from the West Indies’ World Cup team for strictly cricketing reasons.
Citing a lack of “exceptional performances” from the two Trinidadian all-rounders, Lloyd said the selection panel made a decision to move forward and look for young talent, ahead of next month’s World Cup which will be held jointly in Australia and New Zealand.
In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, the former West Indies captain refuted claims that the move to drop the two senior players was an act of victimisation.
“I don’t think they have had any exceptional performances. Nobody [of the pair] has got exceptional performances as far as [playing for] the West Indies is concerned. They have been there and thereabouts. We really and truly want to pick people on what they have done for our cricket and not for anyone else,” Lloyd explained.
“It was a very difficult decision. I can tell you it went on for two days. We suspended it to give a chance to think about things and so on. There were a lot of discussions.
“But then you get to a point where you say, right, this is where we want to go. It is very difficult for people to understand or to accept. But we want to move on,” he added.
Lloyd said he had explained the reasons in writing to all concerned parties, including the WICB, the West Indies Players Association, as well as the players’ lawyers. He insisted there was no discrimination by the selection panel.
He also revealed he already spoken to both Bravo and Pollard personally about the reasoning surrounding the panel’s decision.
“No, no. That is not the way I live. I don’t believe in things in that nature at all. There is no axe to grind with these guys. There are other people that could have . . . . You know we could have said, “What about X, what about Y?
“This is the combination we came up with and I am not one of those people who [you] are going to direct to me what to do. I take orders from me, and nobody else. I am not into that situation where I will be worrying about what happened in India. That is past. That is gone. We are moving on,” Lloyd emphasized.
Despite their exclusion from the squad, Lloyd maintained this was not the end of the line for the two players.
He pointed to the fact that Pollard who is just 27 years old, and Bravo, 31 –– one of 12 players to have recently been given a central contract for the 2014-2015 season –– still had a lot to offer to West Indies cricket.
“Doesn’t that tell you something? He has been given a central contract. So that means he is not thrown out. That is what we should be talking about. We want people to feel they are still part of our cricket,” Lloyd said.
“I spoke to them in Cape Town. They understand what the situation is. Don’t forget, these guys have been playing for West Indies for a while. And they will be disappointed, but they have a chance of redeeming themselves and getting back into our cricket in the future.”
Lloyd also brushed aside comments made by opening batsman, Chris Gayle, who openly criticized the panel for their decision, referring to it as “ridiculous”.
“He [Gayle] might think so, but the point is that he is not a selector. He is a player,” Lloyd said. “I have the greatest respect for him. But he will have to read what we are trying to do. He is part of that team that is going forward. Once he has been told what the situation is he will understand what we are doing.”