PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Outspoken Twenty20 star, Dwayne Bravo, has branded Cricket West Indies’ treatment of Darren Sammy as “disrespect”, especially considering the two-time World Cup-winning captain’s contribution to the game in the region.
Sammy led West Indies to their historic capture of the T20 World Cup in Kolkata two years ago, when they beat England in a dramatic final at Eden Gardens.
However, after controversially criticising CWI at the post-match ceremony for their handling of the team’s preparation for the tournament and throughout the campaign, Sammy was never selected again for West Indies.
“Whatever Sammy said in the speech was a matter of frustration. It was building up inside him and he eventually was able to let it go on that platform where the entire world was listening,” Bravo told i95.5 FM in a wide-ranging interview last weekend.
“I knew for sure after that speech there would have been problems for Sammy. I didn’t expect that final game to be his last game. To me that is a disrespect. To see someone who captained over 40 Test matches for you, at one point in time was the golden boy of West Indies cricket, went to World Cups for you and because he speaks his mind he no longer gets the opportunity to play again?
“A two-time World champion captain, play in a World Cup final, lift the trophy. He makes a speech and that was the last time the people of the Caribbean get to see Darren Sammy play. To me that was a disrespect and again, it goes to show the mentality of the people who run West Indies cricket.
“Whenever you speak your mind, that’s it. They consider you a rebel or they consider you as someone that’s it’s [time to move on from].”
Sammy, who also presided over the Windies triumph at the 2012 T20 World Cup, played 38 Tests, 126 One-Day Internationals and 68 T20 Internationals.
He led West Indies in 30 Tests, 51 ODIs and 47 T20s but was sacked as captain, four months after the Kolkata success and replaced by all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite.
Bravo, who quit all forms of international cricket last month, said West Indies cricket was no longer respected around the world, largely due to CWI’s management of the game.
“Because of how West Indies cricket is run, world cricket don’t respect us anymore … because we don’t respect ourselves,” he argued.
“So if we don’t respect ourselves as a nation, as a people, how do we expect the rest of the world to respect us? We’ve produced the best in the world for so many years, we dominated world cricket and then to see West Indies cricket in the state that it’s in now, everyone’s laughing.
“West Indies team is the most loved team but a lot of people don’t want to see West Indies rule again, they don’t want to see the West Indies dominate again because of what happened in the past.”
He added: “Because we’re always fighting among ourselves, they laugh at us so whenever we turn up for a major tournament, they will always have these negative things to say about West Indies cricket, and the players and all of these things.”
Bravo also had controversial run-ins with CWI, most notably over his role in the abandoned tour of India in 2014 when he led the players in a bitter pay dispute with the board.
Like Sammy, Bravo was sacked as captain and from the team following the incident, and replaced by current captain Jason Holder for the series away to South Africa. He never played ODIs again.
He last played for West Indies two years ago on the ill-fated T20 series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, a tour that was overshadowed by the sudden axing of popular head coach Phil Simmons.
Bravo contended his time in charge of the ODI squad had been a successful period, which had been unrivalled in recent times.
“We were in a much better place than we are now. When I took over the team from Darren Sammy, we used to win like 36 per cent of our games; that 36 per cent moved to 48 per cent and now is down to maybe 24 per cent,” Bravo said.
“So in four years, West Indies have not won an ODI series; that never happened under me. But no one ever highlights those things. I only had nine months to captain West Indies and I moved it from 36 per cent back to 48 per cent.
“Even going back to Richie Richardson and Jimmy Adams and Carl Hooper and all these guys – my record as captain is better than all those guys.”
Bravo actually led the Windies in ODIs for 21 months after taking over the side in February 2013, winning 17 of his 37 matches in charge for a win-rate of nearly 46 per cent. (CMC)