West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has opted to come out of T20I retirement. The 36-year-old, who retired from all formats of the international game in October last year, has stated that his u-turn was down to changes at the administration level in the West Indies Cricket Board.
Former West Indies team manager Ricky Skeritt overthrew Dave Cameron’s controversial six-year reign as WICB president in March this year. Several senior players including Bravo had been at loggerheads with the erstwhile president and his board’s policies that led to abandoned tour of India in 2014 and curious sacking of head coach Phil Simmons post the World T20 triumph in 2016.
Since taking over, Skeritt has pledged to work for improvement on and off the field for West Indies cricket, stating in an interview with Cricbuzz that if a player was available for West Indies, he’ll be considered for selection.
“I know there will be talks whether I will play Test Cricket again or ODI cricket again, it’s a No,” Bravo told reporters in Chennai. “I want to fully commit myself to play T20 International again for West Indies. It’s been something on my mind for a while. Due to the changes in the administration level, the coach, captain, I think it’s a good time for me to come back and give back and continue my dream of representing West Indies as long as possible. I’m still fit, I can still contribute in the shortest format of the game, I’m very driven and excited with the young talent in West Indies cricket.
“We have the perfect opportunity collectively as a nation, as players, as directors that everyone sing the same song. I want to thank my fans, my family and people who are reallly close to me, everyone has been supportive. I still have a lot to offer. This is a game I love.” Bravo, who played the last of his 66 T20Is for West Indies in September 2016, played a starring role in each of their two World T20 triumphs, in 2012 and 2016. Over the last few years of his career, he has turned his focus into playing franchise T20 cricket around the world and remains a vital cog of the Chennai Super Kings setup in the IPL.
West Indies, who have had issues with their bowling unit in recent T20Is, could be well served with the Bravo re-integrations despite the medium-pacer’s diminishing returns as a death bowler. The defending T20 World Cup champions are currently ranked 10th in the format.
Bravo, however, stressed he’s not sure whether he’ll be picked for the ICC T20 World Cup next year. “I’m not confident that I should get picked, I will take step by step. First of all I would like to get picked for the first series, World T20 is all the way down in October, there are 19-20 games before that,” he said.
“The World T20 is not the main reason why I’m coming back. There is so much talent in West Indies cricket, if managed properly and with right players around, we can become the most dominant team like we once were a few years ago.
“Our focus now is to improve the T20I rankings and I think I can only enhance what is already there. There are so many talented guys under the leadership of Pollard, Jason Holder, Simmons is back, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, you throw in Andre Russell, Sunil Narine along with Chris Gayle, put together with the right squad with everyone playing again, I think the cricketing world will start to watch West Indies again.”