Bravo left out with 2027 CWC in mind, says Haynes
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
Chief selector Desmond Haynes says West Indies’ forward planning for the 2027 ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) resulted in veteran left-hander Darren Bravo being overlooked for next month’s three-match series against England.
The 34-year-old Bravo was the leading scorer in the just concluded Super50 Cup in Trinidad where he piled up 416 runs at an average of 83, while captaining home side Red Force to their 14th domestic 50-over title.
“I think it was a very tough decision for us to make as a panel,” Haynes told a virtual media conference yesterday after the 15-man squad for the series was announced.
“Darren has proven not only this year but last year in the Super50 tournament to be somebody who performs well at this level.
“But we have invested in players like Alick Athanaze and Keacy Carty, and we just figured that in selecting this team, we also had to take into consideration that the World Cup 2027 is something that we’ve got in mind.
“And we believe we’ve invested in these players and believe we should give them the opportunity of playing against a very strong England side.”
Bravo, who played the last of his 122 ODIs 22 months ago, averages 30 in the format with four hundreds.
His snub comes even as selectors opted to recall 32-year-old gloveman Shane Dowrich, who played his only ODI four and a half years ago and has not featured for West Indies since he abruptly left the Test tour of New Zealand for “personal reasons” three years ago.
Haynes defended Dowrich’s selection, contending the player boasted strong Test credentials and had also shown good form in the Super50 Cup.
“Dowrich has proven to be [a good] player, batting in the middle, playing spin very well,” argued Haynes.
“He’s done well. Even though he hasn’t played a lot of one-day games, he’s done very well at Test level and that’s one of the things, as selectors, we always think if you can perform at Test level, it makes it a lot easier playing 50-over cricket.
“And Dowrich proved he can play at that level with a couple of Test hundreds.
“He had an illness, he came back, he captained the Combined Campuses and Colleges team, done very well. He got a hundred and we were very impressed with the way how he led the side.
“We just thought in the situation of obviously we’ve only got Shai (Hope) as a keeper as well, we thought that Dowrich would just be the other keeper in the side.”
Dowrich averages 29 from 35 Tests, and scored the last of his three hundreds five years ago.
Haynes also sought to justify the presence of 33-year-old Kjorn Ottley – who played his only two ODIs nearly three years ago – contending the left-hander had been brought in to play a specific role at the top of the order in the absence of the injured Justin Greaves.
“You’ve got to look at the roles that you want the players to play and Kjorn Ottley was included in the team because we had an injury to Justin Greaves,” Haynes explained.