Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies middle-order batsman Darren Bravo has become the third West Indies cricketer to withdraw from the regional squad for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 in India in March-April. The 27-year-old left-hander said he wanted to focus on the longer formats of the game.
Bravo’s fellow countrymen spinner Sunil Narine and all-rounder Kieron Pollard pulled out of the squad on Friday, while the remaining 12 players have signed up for the March showpiece event after reaching a settlement with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) following a pay dispute.
“I’m very grateful and humbled for the opportunity to represent the West Indies at the World Cup,” said Bravo, who has played 12 Twenty20 Internationals for West Indies.
“However, I’m of the firm belief that I have a very big part to play in the resurgence of West Indies cricket in the longer formats of the game and I would like the opportunity to play in our Professional Cricket League (PCL) because it will put me in good stead and will allow me to achieve those goals that I have aligned myself for the year 2016 and beyond.”
WICB is yet to name a replacement for Bravo but Barbadian off-spinner Ashley Nurse and all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite will be replacing Narine and Pollard.
Pollard opted to withdraw his participation due to an injury while Narine stated that he was under-prepared for the event after serving an international suspension for a suspect bowling action.
The WICB has confirmed that the remaining 12-member contingent selected for the tournament had signed the contracts by Sunday’s deadline.
Captain Darren Sammy, in a letter written to the WICB, had revealed that the players, although keen on participation, would be forced to withdraw from the event due to pay cuts.
Sammy claimed that players had been offered just US$6,900 per match in India, with around US$27,600 to be made if a player featured throughout the tournament, which was in stark contrast to their 2012 title winning campaign, where the payments ranged from almost US$60,000 to more than $135,000.
The WICB however informed the players that ICC’s payment regimen to members had changed. As a result of an ICC revamp which was agreed on February 8, 2014, the ICC has changed the manner in which distributions to full members in relation to ICC events are paid, starting from the ICC WT20 2016. Payments are now spread out and distributed over an eight-year cycle, rather than being paid out in a lump sum and attributed to any one event.
West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (C), Chris Gayle, Sulieman Benn, Jason Holder, Andre Fletcher, Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Ashley Nurse and Carlos Brathwaite.