Bravo was dissed
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 firstname.lastname@example.org