Embattled West Indies left-hander Darren Bravo has accused Cricket West Indies of not affording him due process, in the decision to axe him from the Tri-Series tour of Zimbabwe last November.
Breaking his silence for the first time since the controversy erupted eight months ago, the 28-year-old said CWI’s only communication with him was to indicate that his contract had been terminated and to inform him of flight details home.
He said no CWI official had sought to engage him on the matter and he found this particularly disappointing since in the past he had committed his future to West Indies cricket.
“Even though you saw a tweet on my Twitter account, no one actually asked me if I did that,” Bravo told Massy United Insurance’s Line & Length Network in an exclusive interview set to be aired this weekend.
“I went to sleep the day after the tweet, woke up at 6:30 a.m. trying to get myself ready to head to Zimbabwe for the Tri-Series and all of a sudden I saw two emails – one from Roland Holder (CWI cricket operations manager) and one from Richard Pybus (former CWI director of cricket) stating that my contract has been terminated and I was being sent home.
“The other email was from Roland Holder with my flight details but no one actually asked me anything.”
He continued: “I was also given an ultimatum, after being sent home, to take down the tweet by 4 p.m. and apologise on twitter but at the end of the day no one can prove if Darren Bravo actually went on his Twitter account and tweeted that.
“There was no due process, there wasn’t anything. No one asked me anything. Up to this day, no one called me and asked me so it has been very disappointing.
“Yes I want to play cricket for West Indies again but at the end of the day when I step back onto the field, I want to be able to be happy, I want to be able to enjoy my cricket once more and that is probably something I have been lacking for the last year playing for West Indies.”
The impasse arose last November after Bravo rejected a downgraded central contract from CWI and president Dave Cameron subsequently said in a television interview that the player had not merited an enhanced retainer because of his “declining averages”.
Cameron mistakenly inferred that Bravo had previous held a Grade A contract prompting a Twitter rant from the Trinidadian in which he labelled the Jamaican administrator “a big idiot”.
Barbadian lawyer Donna Symmonds, a member of Bravo’s legal team, said her client’s rights had been breached and said subsequent attempts to negotiate with CWI had ended in frustration.
“Darren had no due process. As far as we are concerned his contractual rights were breached. There has been a rush to judgement, there has been action taken,” she contended.
“We have tried to negotiate this matter with them [Cricket West Indies] … we had actually come to an understanding about a number of things where both sides could say they have resolved and reached an area or position where they could live with it and Darren could be reintegrated into the West Indies team.
“Then something happened – I would have to say a breach of good faith – and it caused the negotiations to break down so we’re no longer there. But at this stage we’re not going to be making any comment on that part (removal of the tweet) because due process has not been given and Darren has not had the chance to put his case to anyone.”
Since being sent home from the tour, Bravo has been barred from taking part in domestic cricket and only last week, his presence for Trinidad and Tobago in a practice match against West Indies, reportedly drew protests from CWI.
Last week, Cameron said that Bravo would remain ignored for selection until the offending tweet was removed but Symmonds, questioned the basis for the “continued ban”.
“Up to now, Cricket West Indies has not explained their authority for this continued ban,” Symmonds argued.
“They terminated Darren’s contract, they punished him by doing that for what they perceived to be a breach by him and yet this ban continues and up to now we have not been told the authority by which they are doing this.
“He’s not even been informed. He only hears if he’s picked to play a game and then he’s told he can’t play because Cricket West Indies says you can’t play. They have never even engaged Darren directly or his lawyers directly to say ‘this is why we are doing this and it is for X, Y period. We hear … via the media.”
Bravo is West Indies’ premier Test batsman, with 3400 runs from 49 Tests at an average of 40, including eight centuries and 16 half-centuries.