WICB dissed Bravo

Jamaica Gleaner - - SATURDAY TALK -

THE EDI­TOR, Sir: This let­ter is be­ing re­pub­lished be­cause an im­ported er­ror had mis­rep­re­sented the writer’s view.

I 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. The call­ers seemed very up­set with some­thing Dar­ren Bravo had said, and one caller even sug­gested that he never play for the West Indies 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 board. I have more faith in Pres­i­dent-elect Trump than Mr Cameron.

Bravo reached his break­ing point, and the rest is his­tory. Yes, 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 would have been the ap­pro­pri­ate pun­ish­ment.

I wish to make a few points in sup­port of Bravo. I

use Mar­lon Sa­muels as a point of com­par­i­son. Ac­cord­ing to Dave Cameron, Sa­muels was given a B con­tract, while Bravo got a C con­tract. 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 (2014) to 31.78 (2016) – a 15 per cent de­cline. Sa­muels’ av­er­age for the same pe­riod fell from 30.2 to 23 – a 23 per cent de­cline.

2. Over the last three years, Bravo’s av­er­age in ODIs re­mained ba­si­cally level, i.e., 31 (2014) to 31.2 (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’s a de­cline of 16 per cent. For the same pe­riod, Bravo’s ODI av­er­age in­creased from 28 to 31.2.

3. Bravo has made clear that he wishes to fo­cus on Test cricket, while Sa­muels has been con­sid­er­ing re­tire­ment. 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 an 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 C con­tract.

Mean­while, an­other bats­man, who seems not very in­ter­ested in Test cricket and who had a medi­ocre tour of Pak­istan, and has seen a worse av­er­age de­cline than Bravo, was given a B 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, UWI, Mona

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