BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dave Cameron has made it clear that left-hander Darren Bravo will remained sidelined from selection until he removes the offensive tweet which resulted in him being sent home ahead of the Tri-Nations Series in Zimbabwe last November.
Speaking in a candid interview with Massy Insurances Line and Length Network, Cameron said the tweet – labelling him “a big idiot” – was the kind of behaviour CWI was not prepared to accept and that Bravo needed to face up to this reality.
“Let me make it very clear: What Darren Bravo has to do first and foremost is take down the tweet. Every day that tweet stays up, it is an infraction,” Cameron said.
“Secondly, he needs to accept that he’s done something wrong and then we can move forward from there.”
He added: “But we’ve decided as an organization – it came up at the board meeting – [that] we’ll put it to the disciplinary committee, let them have a look at it and determine if there is further action to be taken and how that will go. We’ll move it from there.”
Controversy erupted last November after CWI announced the 28-year-old Bravo had declined a central contract for the period up to September 30, 2017.
It emerged subsequently that Bravo, one of the most experienced members of the Test squad, had rejected the offer of a Grade C contract, a downgrade from his previous contract.
Defending the move in a TV interview, Cameron stirred further controversy by saying the Trinidadian’s performances had not merited an enhanced retainer.
“His averages in the last two years have been declining, so what do you do? Reward poor performance or do you encourage him to get better?” Cameron was quoted as saying.
He continued: “If you continue to keep giving him an A contract then what is the motivation to get better? He has been on an A contract and he hasn’t done well.”
An angry Bravo lashed out in response on Twitter, tagging Cameron in a tweet which said: “You hav[e] been failing 4 d last 4yrs. Y don’t u resign and FYI I’ve neva been given an A contract. Big idiot.”
CWI demanded an apology from Bravo and also asked him to remove the offending tweet, with failure to do so likely to result “in further disciplinary action, including referral to the WICB disciplinary committee.”
Bravo complied with neither demand.
Cameron, however, defended his media statements at the time, noting they may have been misinterpreted.
“If you’ve listened to my interview, I didn’t actually say you [Bravo] had a contract. I said, ‘if you had such a contract’ . . . it was not ‘you have an A [contract]’,” Cameron explained.
“It was really about if you had a higher contract then is it right to give someone who has not been putting the numbers on the board. We did statements about clarifying that. We have no issue. I have no issue with saying it . . . could have been interpreted in a particular way.”
In April, CWI chief executive Johnny Grave said a move to have the Bravo matter resolved had been scuppered after the player slapped a lawsuit against the regional governing body for damages arising from loss of earnings.
Media reports said the resolution would have involved a partial apology from Cameron to Bravo and a similar apology from the player to the president.
Bravo’s lawyers said in a statement no resolution had been reached with CWI but the player remained committed to representing West Indies “in an environment of mutual trust, confidence and respect.”
Cameron, who in the past has been no stranger to controversy, told the Line and Length Network the Bravo impasse was symptomatic of a larger problem in West Indies cricket.
“These are the kinds of lack of standards we have had in the past that we are now trying to [deal with]. We’re not going to accept that kind of behaviour going forward,” the Jamaican administrator said firmly.
“No player, no one is entitled to represent Cricket West Indies, none of us. And again, how we operate, how we behave is a reflection on all of us and that’s very important.
“One-point-three billion Indians see Christopher Gayle as an ambassador, they see Bravo [as an ambassador] so how they behave says that’s how Caribbean people are and we take that very, very seriously.”
Bravo remains the Windies’ premier Test batsman with 3400 runs from 49 Tests at an average of 40, including eight centuries and 16 half-centuries.
In one-dayers, he averages 32 from 94 matches with three hundreds and 17 fifties.
In Bravo’s absence, West Indies have lost two of three Tests and won just three of 12 one-dayers.