PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – An ex-West Indies player has labelled Dwayne Bravo’s axing as West Indies one-day captain as “suspicious” and believes the all-rounder has paid the price for his role in the controversial abandoned tour of India last October.
Bravo, who was replaced as skipper by 23-year-old Jason Holder, was also dropped from the 15-man squad to tour South Africa next month, along with the experienced duo Kieron Pollard and former captain Darren Sammy.
Bryan Davis, who played four Tests against Australia in 1965, said the group that toured India was West Indies’ best squad and opined that the raft of changes that had taken place were as a result of the players strike.
“I believe it has to do with the abandonment of the tour of India,” Davis told the Trinidad Express newspaper.
“Dwayne Bravo has suffered the consequences … I am only judging by what the WICB said that there would be no discrimination. They could cover it up and talk about transition, but the timing was very bad.”
He continued: “I was surprised from the point of view the Board said there would not be discrimination against those who went to India, so I was expecting a similar team to the one that went to India.
“If that was the best team at the time, I don’t see anything that happened between then and now to create any changes.”
In announcing the squad on Saturday, the WICB said the recommendation for the change in captaincy had come from the Clive Lloyd-led selection panel and approved by the Board of Directors.
Lloyd said in a statement that now was the best time to make a transition to youthful leadership.
Significantly, the move comes on the cusp of the World Cup campaign set to begin in Australia and New Zealand in February.
“I see nothing wrong with Jason Holder being captain but the question is the timing. If you are going to change to a younger captain why not do it before the India tour?” Davis queried.
“Why now when you just have the South African series and straight into the World Cup? The young captain does not have time to get experience on the field of play and bond with his team. The best time to have done this would have been after the World Cup, I would have thought.
“If you were thinking about a transition to youth, that should have happened after the World Cup.”
Bravo was the spokesman for the squad in India as they battled the WICB and the players union, WIPA, over the contentious new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
On his return to the Caribbean, the 31-year-old all-rounder was part of emergency meetings involving WICB and WIPA officials, and St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, which were aimed at resolving the impasse.
Davis said it was hard not to find a connection between the squad changes and the occurrences in India.
“I find the timing is suspect, because of what happened in India. It seems a little suspicious.”