Bravo was dissed

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

ITHE EDITOR, Sir: WRITE to ad­dress the re­cent fi­asco in West In­dies cricket. I picked up that some­thing had gone wrong as I lis­tened to a pop­u­lar lo­cal sport pro­gramme while driv­ing. The callers seemed very up­set with some­thing Dar­ren Bravo had said, and one caller even sug­gested that he never play for the West In­dies (WI) again.

While I can­not com­ment on what tran­spired for the en­tire pro­gramme, at no time did I hear any­one speak out against Dave Cameron’s stew­ard­ship of the West In­dies Cricket Board (WICB). As for me, I have more faith in Pres­i­dent-elect Trump than Mr Cameron.

Bravo reached his break­ing point, and the rest is history. Of course he was out of line, and should be pun­ished. He should pay a hefty fine, but I don’t think send­ing him home was nec­es­sar­ily the right call. Of course, if that’s what his con­tract states, it is the ap­pro­pri­ate pun­ish­ment.

But Cameron has tried to sup­port Bravo’s de­mo­tion with a spe­cious ar­gu­ment that does not stand up to ba­sic sta­tis­ti­cal anal­y­sis.

1. Over the last three years, Bravo’s av­er­age in Tests fell from 37.5 per cent (2014) to 31.78 per cent (2016) – a 15 per cent de­cline. Samuels’ av­er­age for the same pe­riod fell from 30.2 per cent to 23 per cent – a 23 per cent de­cline.

2. Over the last three years, Bravo’s av­er­age in ODIs re­mained ba­si­cally level, i.e., 31 per cent (2014) to 31.2 per cent (2016). Samuels, who clearly prefers the shorter for­mats than Bravo, saw his av­er­age fall from 101 to 37.4, a 63 per cent de­cline. Since he played only five ODIs in 2014, let’s ex­clude that year and start with 2015 in­stead. From 2015 to 2016, his av­er­age fell from 46.23 to 37.4, that is a de­cline of 16 per cent. For the same pe­riod, Bravo’s ODI av­er­age in­creased from 28 to 31.2. 3. Bravo has made it clear that he wishes to fo­cus on Test cricket, while Samuels has been con­sid­er­ing retirement. I was sur­prised to see him in whites against Pak­istan. Fur­ther, I was un­der the im­pres­sion that these re­tain­ers were espe­cially geared to­wards re­tain­ing a nu­cleus of play­ers who are pri­mar­ily in­ter­ested in Test cricket.

4. Mr Cameron mis­spoke, or worse lied, about Bravo hav­ing a con­tract at some point.

So Mr Cameron is telling us that a se­nior bats­man who did well for us against Pak­istan, out­side of the Caribbean, just a few weeks ago, will be given a con­tract.

Mean­while an­other bats­man who seems not very in­ter­ested in Test cricket had a medi­ocre tour of Pak­istan, and has seen a worse av­er­age de­cline than Bravo, was given a con­tract. Am I miss­ing some­thing here? If not, what a slap in the face of Bravo! What a slap in the face of the or­di­nary fan! What dis­re­spect to our in­tel­li­gence!

I agree, Bravo’s av­er­age fell. But how can any player do well in the en­vi­ron­ment that Mr Cameron and his col­leagues have cre­ated and con­tinue to per­pet­u­ate upon WI cricket? I agree, the WICB has been mak­ing some good moves to bet­ter WI cricket, but surely, surely they can treat our heroes bet­ter than they have been do­ing. SA­MUEL BRAITH­WAITE Lec­turer De­part­ment of Economics, UWI sa­muel.braith­waite@uwi­mona.edu.jm

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