Bravo Windies return unsure
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
With the critical tour of England looming, chief selector Courtney Browne has said there is still no timetable for Darren Bravo's return to the West Indies side.
In fact, Browne told the Massy United Insurance Line and Length TV show that the responsibility was now on the 28-year Trinidadian to indicate his availability, with a solution to the impasse already on the table.
"I'm not sure [when he will be available for selection again], as I have said many times," Browne said.
"There was some agreement between both parties (the West Indies Cricket Board [WICB] and Bravo), but I think the ball really is in Darren's court now to determine that (availability)."
Bravo and the WICB have been locked in an impasse ever since the player was sent home ahead of the Tri-Nations Series in Zimbabwe last November for a controversial tweet in which he labelled WICB president Dave Cameron "a big idiot".
Last month, newly appointed WICB chief executive Johnny Grave said a deal had been struck with Bravo's representatives, but that move stalled because of legal action the player initiated against the board.
"I thought everything was agreed with his legal advisers," the Englishman said recently.
"We didn't want this to play out publicly but yes, it is true, his attorney is asking for damages, and West Indies supporters deserve an explanation as to why he is not in the [West Indies] squad."
However, a week later, Bravo's lawyers refuted Grave's assertion, contending no agreement had been reached while stressing that the player remained committed to playing for West Indie, but "in an environment of mutual trust, confidence, and respect."
The left-handed Bravo, the region's premier Test batsman with an average of 40 from 49 Tests, was sorely missed during the recent three-Test series against Pakistan which West Indies lost 2-1, to hand the visitors their first-ever win on Caribbean soil in nearly six decades.
Only last October, he made a superb hundred and a half century in the opening Test against Pakistan in Dubai, nearly helping West Indies to avoid defeat.
His replacement in the recent Test series - 20-year-old Shimron Hetmyer - proved inadequate managing a paltry 96 runs from six innings.
West Indies are set to play three Tests away to England starting in August and Browne said his panel would continue to focus on players who were available.
"We can just work with the people that we have now as a selection panel and if and when Darren decides to come back, we will look at that," the former Test wicketkeeper said.