DWAYNE BRAVO will not be appearing for the Trinbago Knight Riders in this year's edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament.
On Friday, the former TKR captain, who led the TT franchise to victory in 2015, 2017 and 2018, revealed that at his own request, he had been traded to the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (SKNP) for the forthcoming season.
Bravo’s request to change teams was agreed on by TKR management.
In return, SKNP traded wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin to TKR. Ramdin is also a former TKR player, who represented the franchise from 2016-2019.
Bravo had contributed to the TKR, four-time winners. since the inception of the CPL in 2013.
On his unexpected change of teams, Bravo said, “At this stage in my career, I needed a new challenge, which is to work with the young talent for the benefit for Cricket West Indies.
“I want to thank TKR for respecting my wishes and for all their support over the years. I also appreciate everything they have done for TT in general.”
At the 2020 CPL, which was held in a bio-secure bubble without spectators in Trinidad only, Bravo was replaced as skipper by countryman Kieron Pollard. The latter led the TT franchise to a historic fourth title, the most won by any competing team thus far.
TKR manager Colin Borde said the animated but talented all-rounder would leave a void in the team set-up. But TKR remain intent on retaining the CPL title when this year’s competition bowls off in St Kitts on August 28.
“Dwayne will be missed for this massive contribution to TKR and its successes over the years. He has bright vibrancy, enthusiasm, energy, skill, leadership and above all humility in his approach to the game and the team members,” said Borde.
The TKR manager also welcomed Ramdin back to the squad and believes he will be a crucial asset to helping them go all the way at the 2021 edition.
In 2019, Ramdin was not retained by TKR, after spending the past four years there. He was immediately picked up by SKNP and featured under their banner in 2020.
Borde added, “Having Ramdin back with us is having one of our son's come back home. His experience and affection for playing for the local franchise will only benefit us in every aspect.
“His role on the field in keeping it all together has been proven time and time again and we are so happy to be reunited with him.”
TKR director Venky Mysore also heaped praise on Bravo’s contribution, which played an integral role in affirming the squad as one of the most feared and respected CPL teams.
He said, “DJ Bravo has not only been instrumental in building TKR into a champion team but also captained the team which earned three championships in 2015, 2017 and 2018. We are sad to see him leave but we respect his wishes and his desire to help Caribbean cricket.”
Rayad Emrit, who also joined up with SKNP alongside Ramdin last year, welcomed Bravo’s addition to the squad. SKNP had a rough season in 2020, as they finished bottom of the table, recording more losses than wins.
Emrit thinks Bravo’s involvement, backed by his experience, will provides the franchise with bolstered firepower, both with the bat and ball.
“To have Dwayne in our team, someone with over 500 T20 wickets, is going to be a very good addition to our team. He has great experience and has played in every single condition in T20 cricket.
“To have him to work with us, the team and the younger players, is a really good signing and addition to our squad,” said Emrit.
Losing Ramdin, however, would be a big blow to the team, since he has been versatile behind the wicket and put on some good displays with the bat at last year’s tourney.
“We’ve lost probably the best wicketkeeper/batsman in the Caribbean. Losing Ramdin…it’s hard to lose Ramdin. Buton the other hand, we got someone like Dwayne and we’re very excited to have him in our set up,” Emrit added.
This year, the CPL will be hosted in its entirety at Warner Park in St Kitts. The 33-match tournament will allow fans to attend at up to 50 per cent capacity of the 8,000-seat venue – once they present proof of covid19 vaccination.
With the tournament now being hosted in the SKNP backyard, Emrit remains optimistic the squad will fuse all these elements together to create a more comprehensive competitive unit.
“We (SKNP) just have to wait and see what the future holds for us. We’re playing in our backyard in St Kitts, with some supporters, so hopefully that 12th man can really push us on and we can start doing what we haven’t done in the past, which is getting titles.
"It’s good to have Dwayne around now,” Emrit continued.
The TKR statement also reaffirmed that Pollard will remain as skipper while spinner Sunil Narine will serve as vice-captain.
The statement concluded, “We welcome back Denesh Ramdin to the TKR family and look forward to the 2021 season and defending our title.”