THE Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board has expressed its concern and dismay over the omission of Red Force captain Darren Bravo from the West Indies T20 International squad recently named to play England in the Caribbean.
And the TTCB is calling on Cricket West Indies (CWI) chairman of selectors Desmond Haynes to fully explain what criteria are being used to deny the left-handed batsman regional selection after a stellar season with the bat.
In a media release on Friday from general secretary Altaf Baksh, the TTCB says its disappointment is a reflection of the general feeling in TT and around the Caribbean that the elegant stroke-player is being punished for whatever reason.
The TTCB said, statistically, Bravo has been one of the most prolific run-getters in Caribbean cricket, averaging 96.2, 65.0, 48 and 83.2 respectively over the past four years.
However, Baksh said Haynes and his fellow CWI selectors “unbelievably discarded Bravo’s spectacular performance” in the recent CG United Super50 Cup Tournament in leading the Red Force to the title.
Bravo copped the Golden Bat scoring 416 runs with a highest of 139 not out, and a table-topping average of 83.2 which was better than any other batsman selected on the team to face England.
The TTCB also thinks it is ludicrous for Haynes to suggest, as he did in a media conference last week, that the reason for Bravo’s rejection, despite his current form and record, was that the CWI is “investing” in players with an eye on the 2027 ICC World Cup.
Haynes said the selectors have invested in batsmen Alick Athanaze and Keacy Carty, and “we should give them the opportunity to play against a very strong England team. That’s the reason why Darren has been omitted.”
The local territorial board said Haynes’ explanation was hollow and a slap in the face of Caribbean cricketers who are now being told quality performances do not merit regional selection.
The TTCB said the apparent change of policy by the regional selectors was cover for inexplicable team selection, and inimical to the future of West Indies cricket, which further serves to discourage and stifle regional talent.
It said in years past, insularity reared its ugly head and was responsible for destroying the careers of many West Indies cricketers because of ethnic and territorial considerations.
The TTCB called on Haynes and his co-panellists to “lift the veil of secrecy of their policy for selecting the regional teams.” It said the rationale of investing in players for a tournament four years away was nonsensical, and Haynes was “not certain to be occupying the position he is currently in.”
The local board added, “Haynes must be reminded that no such investment was made in his selection on the West Indies team, but was reward for his tremendous run of form especially in English cricket, together with his opening partner Gordon Greenidge.
“Darren Bravo deserves no less consideration based on experience, current form, leadership, and maturity.”