BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – West Indies all-rounder, Dwayne Bravo, has refuted international media reports suggesting he is actively seeking a return to the regional side for next year’s World Cup in England.
The 34-year-old, currently in India preparing for next month’s start of the Indian Premier League, was quoted as saying, “hopefully I would get to play in the World Cup as well”, after congratulating West Indies for clinching their spot at the showpiece at the ongoing ICC Qualifiers in Zimbabwe.
But Bravo told Line & Length Network his comments had been meant as a “simple joke” and not a “comeback request”.
“Some reporters take things and run with it,” the dynamic Trinidad and Tobago player said.
“I was asked how I felt about the Windies making the Finals and I responded by saying, ‘I am so happy for the guys because they worked hard and deserve to be in England, hey, maybe I will comeback,’ and laughed. But it was in no way a comeback request.”
Bravo has been overlooked for selection in One Day Internationals ever since his crucial role in the controversial abandoned tour of India, in a players pay dispute with Cricket West Indies.
Since then, he has struggled with injuries. He underwent major hamstring surgery after picking up a serious injury in the Australia Big Bash in December 2016, and also recently nursed an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain of his right knee, which kept him out of the Pakistan Super League this year.
In announcing the squad last January for the ongoing ICC World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe, chief selector Courtney Browne said Bravo was not considered because “he had indicated previously that he is no longer available to play cricket for the West Indies.”
Bravo rejected this assertion but said he believed selectors should keep faith with the contingent who helped the Windies qualify.
“I want to make it clear though that I never retired from playing for the West Indies, I have been available but just not selected,” said Bravo who has taken 199 wickets in 164 ODI’s and has a batting average of 25.36.
“I have to look after my health. If the Regional 50-over is playing again this year and I am 100 per cent fit I will certainly play for the Red Force. I am a West Indian and will always be. But I think the guys who played in Zimbabwe are a unit that the selectors should stick with.”
He continued: “I wish the World Cup Finals was playing next month because the guys who are there deserve to go. Another 18 months is a while away and these guys can get injured, lose form etc which can open up new opportunities, but I am proud of how they played.”
Bravo further explained that he would never say “no” to representing West Indies, but stressed his health was his major priority at the moment.
Bravo is expected to turn out for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL which bowls off April 4.