KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC- West Indies chief cricket selector Clive Lloyd says the omission of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard from the World Cup squad is no act of victimization for their roles in the controversial abandoned tour of India.
Bravo and Pollard were not named in the 15-man squad announced to contest the World Cup which bowls off in Australia and New Zealand next month.
Speaking on Sportsmaz Zone Monday night, Lloyd the chairman of selectors, defended the decision not to select the two Trinidadian cricketers, insisting that it was not victimization and that it was time to try something different.
“There was two days of discussions with the three others selectors and the captain and there were very strong arguments for the players and we came out with what we though was a pretty good team,” Lloyd explained.
“It was not easy to leave out those two guys. It is a discussion that went on and on and on and in the end we thought that we have so many all-rounders. We were trying to see if we can introduce some new faces and as far as I am concerned I think we have a good all-round one-day side”.
Bravo and Pollard were also overlooked for the five-match series against South Africa starting Friday.
Lloyd’s comments follow similar sentiments from West Indies Cricket Board president, Dave Cameron rejecting claims that the two all-rounders were axed from the World Cup squad
“Let people understand that we have been at the bottom rung of the ladder for the last eight years or more with the same players, recycling people all the time,” Lloyd said.
“The point is that now we tried to see if we can change things. It is obvious picking a West Indies team is not easy. If you look at the stats of our players, they are not wonderful so we will be picking players averaging 20, 25, some even 19…We starting from scratch”.
Like the squad in South Africa, the World Cup unit will be skippered by rookie fast bowler Jason Holder who featured on the tour of India last October and who has played just three Tests and 21 ODIs, replacing Bravo who took over from Darren Sammy in May, 2013.
St.Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who brokered an agreement between the players, the WICB and players union, WIPA, in the wake of the abandoned tour, claims that the omission of Bravo and Pollard “reeks of village vengeance, discrimination and victimization” and slammed the decision as “glaringly [lacking] cricketing merit.”
But according to Lloyd, the former West Indies captain: “It is not a situation where these guys have been wiped away. They have a chance at playing for the West Indies again. We have a new captain and hopefully he will get the support that is needed and we can put in a very good performance”.
Opener Chris Gayle has also blasted the omission of Bravo and Pollard, claiming victimization and describing it as “ridiculous”.
The maverick opener who fired West Indies to victory over South Africa in the first two T20 matches has lashed out at selectors arguing that the move weakened the one-day side.