Fri | Feb 23, 2018

WICB dissed Bravo

Published:Saturday | November 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM


This letter is being republished because an imported error had misrepresented the writer's view.

I write to address the recent fiasco in West Indies cricket. I picked up that something had gone wrong as I listened to a popular local sport programme. The callers seemed very upset with something Darren Bravo had said, and one caller even suggested that he never play for the West Indies again.

While I cannot comment on what transpired for the entire programme, at no time did I hear anyone speak out against Dave Cameron's stewardship of the board. I have more faith in President-elect Trump than Mr Cameron.

Bravo reached his breaking point, and the rest is history. Yes, he was out of line and should be punished. He should pay a hefty fine, but I don't think sending him home was necessarily the right call. Of course, if that's what his contract states, it would have been the appropriate punishment.

I wish to make a few points in support of Bravo. I use Marlon Samuels as a point of comparison. According to Dave Cameron, Samuels was given a B contract, while Bravo got a C contract. Cameron has tried to support Bravo's demotion with a specious argument that does not stand up to basic statistical analysis.

1. Over the last three years, Bravo's average in Tests fell from 37.5 (2014) to 31.78 (2016) - a 15 per cent decline. Samuels' average for the same period fell from 30.2 to 23 - a 23 per cent decline.

2. Over the last three years, Bravo's average in ODIs remained basically level, i.e., 31 (2014) to 31.2 (2016). Samuels, who clearly prefers the shorter formats than Bravo, saw his average fall from 101 to 37.4, a 63 per cent decline. Since he played only five ODIs in 2014, let's exclude that year and start with 2015 instead. From 2015 to 2016, his average fell from 46.23 to 37.4; that's a decline of 16 per cent. For the same period, Bravo's ODI average increased from 28 to 31.2.

3. Bravo has made clear that he wishes to focus on Test cricket, while Samuels has been considering retirement. Further, I was under the impression that these retainers were especially geared towards 'retaining' a nucleus of players who are primarily interested in Test cricket.

4. Mr Cameron misspoke, or worse, lied about Bravo having an A contract at some point.

So Mr Cameron is telling us that a senior batsman who did well for us against Pakistan, outside of the Caribbean, just a few weeks ago, will be given a C contract.

Meanwhile, another batsman, who seems not very interested in Test cricket and who had a mediocre tour of Pakistan, and has seen a worse average decline than Bravo, was given a B contract. Am I missing something here? If not, what a slap in the face of Bravo. What a slap in the face of the ordinary fan. What disrespect to our intelligence!

I agree, Bravo's average fell. But how can any player do well in the environment that Mr Cameron and his colleagues have created and continue to perpetuate upon WI cricket? I agree, the WICB has been making some good moves to better WI cricket, but surely, surely, they can treat our heroes better than they have been doing.


Lecturer, UWI, Mona