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It was bound to be the talking point that it has now become. The minute we heard that all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was planning to come out of retirement, and might don the West Indies maroon colours again, we all knew that views would be split across the region. On the one hand, there are those who feel that Bravo is still good enough to be a part of the best team that the West Indies can produce in Twenty20 cricket, and once he is available to play, he should be picked. On the other hand, there are those like me, who feel that a wrong message was sent by the selectors when Bravo was selected for the T20 series against Ireland.
For me it is all about the principle. I admit that purely on a cricket basis, Bravo is an automatic member of any West Indies T20 side. There are, however, other things to consider. Bravo had not played any international cricket for more than three years, largely because of his differences with past West Indies board president Dave Cameron. There were times when the olive branch was extended to him to get back in the team, and he simply looked the other way. Bravo can wax lyrical about all the negatives about Cameron. Some of it may be justified. Some of it may not be. If Bravo is fair though, he should accept that he had his own part to play in whatever bad blood that existed between himself and the past president. Orchestrating the walk-off from the Indian tour and repeatedly bad-mouthing Cameron in public are sins that Bravo must accept that he has committed. Whatever Cameron did or didn’t do, it does not justify some of the responses we have seen from Bravo over the years. Two wrongs, after all, do not make a right.
Bravo choosing to retire and then “unretiring” himself now that Cameron is no longer around, smacks of a player who is taking West Indies cricket for granted. West Indies cricketers play for the West Indies team and, by extension, the West Indian people. They do not play for a president. Players throughout history, across all sports, have had issues with those who administrate, but it does not stop them from playing for their nation.
Nobody is suggesting that Bravo should not have had issues with perceived ills against him. Walking away from the West Indies team, and then coming back when Cameron is gone, and his countryman and friend is captain, just rubs me the wrong way. So Bravo picks up his marbles and walks away because of his issues with the president. What if current or future players go this route? What if other players decide they will retire or not play because they do not like the president? What if they say we are not available because they do not like the coach? Is walking away from the West Indies team the best way to air grouses players may have? By picking Bravo after his self- imposed exile from the team, we may well have legitimised a practice that may well come back to haunt us.
Orville Higgins is a veteran broadcaster with more than 20 years experience in the field of sports.
News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20200118/orville-higgins-taking-west-indies-cricket-granted