Bravo hits out at Red Steel name change - Calls decision-makers 'a bunch of jokers'
ST GEORGE'S, Grenada (CMC):
Captain Dwayne Bravo has raised strong objections after the words Trinidad and Tobago were dropped from Red Steel for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which began in Grenada over the weekend.
The experienced West Indies all-rounder and Trinidad and Tobago national says those responsible for the name change are a "bunch of jokers".
The CPL has confirmed that the request for the removal of the Trinidad and Tobago name from the Red Steel franchise had come from the minister of sport, Anil Roberts.
"I think whoever made that decision, it's uncalled for. Ninety per cent of the team are from Trinidad and Tobago. We are using the national colours," said Bravo.
"All the other islands are proud to use their country's name, whether it is the Barbados Tridents, the Jamaica Tallawahs, why not Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel?"
Bravo made his comments after Red Steel registered a convincing seven-wicket victory over the Barbados Tridents in the first round of matches at the National stadium here.
He led with a half century, along with Ross Taylor, after the Trinidadian bowlers restricted the Tridents.
"I play a lot, heart and soul for Trinidad and Tobago. I've done a lot for my country and will continue to do so," he told reporters here.
"The people in the front are the ones who are gonna suffer the most to know that our country (name) has been removed and at the end of the day, we are representing Trinidad and Tobago and that brand is very important for me, and I'm going to continue to use 'Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel' team."
The sports minister has defended the name change, saying Trinidad and Tobago is exclusive for national teams.
"This CPL franchise (the Red Steel) is not a national team and does not consist wholly and solely of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago," said Roberts.
"Therefore, they have no permission whatsoever to utilise the brand of Trinidad and Tobago, which must be jealously guarded for citizens of Trinidad and Tobago."
However, Bravo says Red Steel players have also expressed disappointment over the name change.
He has insisted that despite the name change, he will continue to use Trinidad and Tobago as a way of promoting his country.
"Maybe I might get in trouble for it, but so be it. I believe it's the right way... . Every time I am leading this team, I'm going to use Trinidad and Tobago and ensure that my country gets full mileage from this big international tournament. Whoever made the decision, call them a bunch of jokers," said Bravo.
"When you look at the IPL you have Chennai Super Kings, you have Mumbai Indians. Not all the players are from Mumbai; not all the players from Chennai; NBA, Miami Heat, not everybody from Miami, so what is the big deal?" he said.