West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo had bid adieu from all forms of international cricket last month. The 35-year-old will only feature in franchise cricket across the world.
Bravo made his international debut in 2004. He played 40 Test matches for the Windies, scoring 2200 runs and claiming 86 wickets. The longest format was never his forte. The Trinidadian cricketer was a recognized limited-overs cricketer. In 164 ODIs and 66 T20Is, Bravo picked up 199 wickets and 52 wickets besides amassing 2968 and 1142 runs respectively.
Reflecting on his retirement decision, Bravo, in an exclusive interview on i95.5fm while talking to Andre Errol Baptiste said: "Yes, if I was selected, for the India series, I would not have considered retiring at this stage, but it did not happen and given all that was going on with my body, it would not make any sense to stay around, especially watching the talent that is coming forward. At the time, I knew the World Cup was next year, but then the teams were selected, so I made my decision after that.”
While admitting, that he was not one for regrets Bravo said, "Because I played 40 Tests matches and cherish that, but the truth is that the coach (Otis Gibson) at the time, when Darren Sammy was appointed captain, told me that, I would not be needed because I would affect the balance of the team, as they only wanted one all-rounder, and as captain Sammy was the all-rounder, so with that I would not be needed. From then on my Test career became difficult, even though, I still hoped to be selected."
Bravo believes that the events that led to the troubled tour of India could have been prevented if both the West Indies Players Association and the West Indies Cricket Board had met with the players.
“It was like this, Wavell Hinds as WIPA president met with a set of the senior players and asked us to take a pay cut, for the sake of the other players and we agreed in principle, because we understood as senior players but we stated to him, what was the amount and he said, he would work it out and send it to us first, and we agreed to that …but then the tour of India starts and players call and tell me to check the contract, as they have cut our salaries by 75%, which was a shock to all of us,” Bravo asserted.
"We had a video conference with Hinds and the players and we told him, he never told us about the contracts, but he stated he told two players about the contracts, but those players (Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin) stood up in the meeting and stated, that was not true, as he never spoke to the players…and he could not reply. Wavell then stated that he gave the contract to Samuel Badree to pass on, and Badree stated that was never the plan and that was not his job anyway, so it was bad from the start,” he explained.
Clearly satisfied with his decision to play just T20 franchise cricket for another few years he said, “But it is okay in the end, because I was the captain and there were several young players who had their careers in front of them, but I can sleep well at night, because I know that everyone knew the decision we took and my conscience is clear. I would not change anything from that tour other than having a recorder to keep with all that was said.”
"The team came together for the World T20 championships because they had a players' coach (Phil Simmons) who believed in them and who supported them when it was necessary, but similarly he would tell them when they did things wrong. We knew that no one wanted us to succeed. A lot of these countries they are laughing at West Indies cricket now, because they do not want us to succeed. You know when we won Dave Cameron could not come into the dressing room to congratulate us, that itself says something,” he concluded.