Bravo pulls out of World Cup - T&T batsman to focus on four-day championship
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
Left-hander Darren Bravo yesterday became the third player to pull out of the troubled Twenty20 World Cup squad.
Following the high-profile withdrawals by Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine last week, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced that Bravo had also opted out of the squad in order to be available for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the Regional four-day championship.
In a letter sent to the board, Bravo said that while he was "very grateful and humbled" to be selected, he preferred to focus on developing his game in the longest format.
"I'm of the firm belief that I have a very big part to play in the resurgence of West Indies cricket in the longer formats of the game, and I will like the opportunity to play in our Professional Cricket League (PCL) because it will put me in good stead and will allow me to achieve those goals that I have aligned myself for the year 2016 and beyond," the Trinidadian said.
Selectors will now mull over yet another replacement after having to find alternatives for Pollard and Narine.
All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite was named to replace Pollard while, yesterday, the board said that Barbados off-spinner Ashley Nurse had been chosen in Narine's absence.
Nurse has played four Twenty20s for West Indies and 60 overall.
Pollard said that he had not fully recovered from an injury sustained last December, while Narine indicated that work on his new action had not been completed. He is currently banned from bowling in international cricket.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the squad have all signed their tour contracts for the March 8 to April 3 ICC tournament in India.
Fears of a player boycott were heightened last week when T20 captain Darren Sammy wrote to the WICB on behalf of the squad to indicate their discontent with the pay structure.
In the communication, Sammy said the players "cannot accept the terms on offer", but in a subsequent radio interview in Trinidad, he said the squad always intended to contest the World Cup and would sign the contracts.
The WICB said the new terms of the contract had been hammered out almost 10 months ago in conjunction with players' union, WIPA, and had been communicated then to all players.