Dwayne Bravo may be injured but he wants to be considered for Test team selection for the West Indies.
He is the West Indies one-day international captain and in London undergoing rehab following a shoulder injury in Chennai Super Kings’ first Indian Premier League match that ruled him out of the T20 league.
Bravo insists that selectors have “got it wrong” by excluding him from the Test side for the past four years.
He claims that the desire is still there to play in the Test format and that he had always shown keenness to continue playing Test cricket, despite his many T20 obligations globally in recent years.
The 30-year-old Trinidadian said he is optimistic he will be recalled for the three-Test home series against New Zealand starting Jun. 8 given his recent form, although in his 40 Tests, Bravo has made a modest 2,200 runs at an average of only 31.42 and taken 86 wickets at 39.83.
With the Pybus Cricket Report being scrutinized to help revamp West Indies’ Test status by ensuring top players compete during the domestic cricket season, indications are not good.
The Caribbean’s finest have not shown an interest to adapt their game to the five-day format.
Chris Gayle was forced out of the Test arena in 2012 after a dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board that lasted 18 months.
Since West Indies’ semifinal exit at the World T20 in March, Gayle, who was nursing an injury, Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine and Bravo all failed to play a single match in the Regional Four Day tournament.
Kieron Pollard played two round-robin games before leaving for Mumbai Indians in the IPL and Trinidad and Tobago later lost in the semifinal.
Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell and Denesh Ramdin have played only one match each in the domestic season.
Sammy, the Test captain, had bemoaned the team’s away performances against India and New Zealand last year and said he wanted a dramatic improvement.
Cayman Islands technical director Theo Cuffy believes Bravo’s form justices his inclusion. “I honestly believe the West Indies Cricket Board should find a way to make room for him in their top six batting selection,” he said.
“Bravo is a brilliant batting all-rounder and if they pick the team properly he deserves to be in on merit.”
Cuffy is amused that some elite West Indies players say they now want to play Test cricket but scarcely make time in the regional games. That’s because they have lucrative contracts to play 20-over games all over the world.
Cuffy feels the West Indies board should find the funds to keep players in the Caribbean more. “The Indian cricket board finds enough funds to give its players contracts to keep them playing at home in the Indian Premier League and to represent their country at home and on tours, so should we,” he said.