Bats­man Dar­ren Bravo axed over tweet

... Given dead­line to apol­o­gise

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

WEST IN­DIES cricket was once again rocked by con­tro­versy yes­ter­day when batting star Dar­ren Bravo was con­tro­ver­sially sent home ahead of the Tri-Na­tions Se­ries in Zim­babwe af­ter the West In­dies Cricket Board (WICB) sen­sa­tion­ally can­celled his match/tour con­tract over a con­tentious tweet deemed “dis­parag­ing” to pres­i­dent Dave Cameron.

And in a let­ter to the player dated Novem­ber 11, the board also gave Bravo un­til 3 p.m. (Ja­maica time) yes­ter­day to apol­o­gise for his ac­tions and to re­move the of­fend­ing tweet from his Twit­ter ac­count.

Fail­ure to do so, the WICB said, could result “in fur­ther dis­ci­plinary ac­tion, in­clud­ing re­fer­ral to the WICB dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee”.

Bravo, who was part of the camp in Potchef­stroom, did not travel to Harare with the re­main­der of the squad yes­ter­day. In­stead, he headed for his na­tive Trinidad and Tobago.

A sub­se­quent WICB re­lease yes­ter­day said Bravo had been dropped “due to in­ap­pro­pri­ate and un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour which is contrary to his con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions to the WICB”.

This was in ref­er­ence to Bravo’s out­burst via on­line so­cial net­work­ing ser­vice, Twit­ter, when he slammed Cameron for com­ments crit­i­cal of his re­cent batting per­for­mances.

DE­CLIN­ING AV­ER­AGE

Speak­ing on re­gional sports chan­nel, Sport­sMax, ear­lier in the week, Cameron said Bravo had been of­fered only a Grade C re­tainer con­tract be­cause of his “poor per­for­mance” and de­clin­ing av­er­ages.

“His av­er­ages in the last two years have been de­clin­ing, so what do you do? Re­ward poor per­for­mance or do you en­cour­age him to get bet­ter?” Cameron said.

In re­sponse, Bravo tagged Cameron via his Twit­ter han­dle, @davec51, as he tweeted: “You hav been fail­ing 4 d last 4yrs. Y don’t u re­sign and FYI I’ve neva been given an A con­tract. Big idiot.”

Bravo’s caus­tic re­sponse prompted a for­mal let­ter from the WICB, in­form­ing the player that his com­ments con­sti­tuted a breach of the terms of his match/tour con­tract and that the con­tract would also be can­celled.

The let­ter, a copy of which was ob­tained by CMC Sports, told Bravo his tweet had “dis­par­aged” the WICB pres­i­dent and was “contrary to your con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions to the WICB”.

“We would ex­pect, as a se­nior West In­dian crick­eter, that you would recog­nise that your de­ci­sion to vent your frus­tra­tions on­line, as well as to den­i­grate the pres­i­dent of the WICB, was in­ap­pro­pri­ate and un­ac­cept­able, as well as contrary to your con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions to the WICB,” said the let­ter, which was signed by di­rec­tor of cricket Richard Py­bus. WICB pres­i­dent Dave Cameron.

“In par­tic­u­lar, we draw your at­ten­tion to your agree­ment (in clause 4.7.2.2 of your match/tour con­tract) not to make any state­ment in or to any form of me­dia (which shall in­clude, with­out lim­i­ta­tion, print me­dia, tele­vi­sion, ra­dio, In­ter­net or any so­cial net­work­ing me­dia), or any other pub­lic state­ment, which would bring your­self, WICB or any of­fi­cial or au­tho­rised rep­re­sen­ta­tive of WICB or the game of cricket into dis­re­pute and your agree­ment to use all such me­dia in a re­spon­si­ble man­ner.

“In ad­di­tion, clause 9.3.1 of your match/tour con­tract pro­vides that in de­fault by you in re­spect of your obli­ga­tions un­der the con­tract, WICB may in its ab­so­lute dis­cre­tion can­cel this con­tract by writ­ten no­tice to the crick­eter.

“In light, there­fore, of your breach of your obli­ga­tions to WICB in clause 4.7.2.2 of your match/tour con­tract, this let­ter serves as writ­ten no­tice that your match/tour con­tract is hereby can­celled.”

In ad­di­tion to end­ing the player’s in­volve­ment in the tour, the WICB also or­dered Bravo to “im­me­di­ately re­move” the of­fend­ing tweet from his Twit­ter ac­count and to is­sue an apol­ogy via the same medium.

“We also re­quest that you im­me­di­ately re­move the high­lighted tweet from your ac­count and de­sist from tweet­ing about WICB of­fi­cials in the future,” the let­ter said.

“We fur­ther re­quest that you ac­knowl­edge, via your Twit­ter ac­count, the im­pro­pri­ety of your ac­tions and your recog­ni­tion that your de­ci­sion to publicly ex­press your views on so­cial me­dia was not con­duct be­fit­ting of a West In­dies crick­eter.

“I strongly dis­cour­age you from con­tin­u­ing to use Twit­ter or other so­cial net­work­ing sites in a man­ner which might cause em­bar­rass­ment to the West In­dies cricket team, the West In­dies Cricket Board or any of­fi­cials of the West In­dies Cricket Board, which can po­ten­tially bring the game into dis­re­pute.”

Bravo has been re­placed in the squad by fel­low Trinida­dian Ja­son Mo­hammed, while legspin­ner Deven­dra Bishoo has been called up to re­place off­spin­ner Su­nil Narine, who has with­drawn from the party for “per­sonal rea­sons”.

West In­dies face hosts Zim­babwe and Sri Lanka in the tour­na­ment, which runs from Novem­ber 14-27.

Dar­ren Bravo

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