West Indies un­der cloud in Zim­babwe

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The West Indies must cope with the loss of their best bats­man when they take on Sri Lanka and hosts Zim­babwe in a tri­an­gu­lar one-day se­ries af­ter Dar­ren Bravo was sent home for re­marks made on Twit­ter.

Bravo was axed from the West In­dian squad on Satur­day due to “in­ap­pro­pri­ate and un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour, which is con­trary to his con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions,” the West Indies Cricket Board said.

The bats­man had re­sponded to com­ments by WICB pres­i­dent Dave Cameron, who told a ra­dio sta­tion that Bravo had been of­fered only a Grade C cen­tral con­tract due to his poor form in re­cent times.

“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 @davec51,” Bravo tweeted in re­ply on Fri­day. The WICB re­lease stated that a clause in play­ers’ con­tracts stip­u­lated no pub­lic com­ments could be made that brought the or­gan­i­sa­tion into dis­re­pute. As a re­sult Bravo, who was played 94 ODIs, has been re­placed in the squad by fel­low bats­man Jason Mo­hammed, who has played just two ODIs. There was a fur­ther blow with spin­ner Su­nil Narine re­turn­ing home due to personal rea­sons. He was re­placed by legspin­ner Deven­dra Bishoo. The West In­di­ans were al­ready with­out star play­ers such as bats­man Chris Gayle and all­rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pol­lard, who re­main at odds with the WICB.

“It’s ob­vi­ously a big im­pact when you lose se­nior guys with ex­pe­ri­ence who bring pedi­gree, but we’re in a sit­u­a­tion where we have to cope with what we have,” West Indies captain Jason Holder said yes­ter­day. “We need to gel to­gether as quickly as pos­si­ble and get ev­ery­one com­ing into the tour­na­ment peak­ing at the right time.”

The first game of the tour­na­ment takes place to­day, when Zim­babwe will take on Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club. West Indies will play Sri Lanka at the same venue on Wed­nes­day, be­fore the se­ries shifts to Bulawayo. Sri Lanka will also be miss­ing key play­ers af­ter An­gelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandi­mal failed to over­come in­juries that kept them out of the re­cently con­cluded Test se­ries against Zim­babwe, giv­ing the hosts con­fi­dence that they can cause some up­sets.

“I think we’re a bet­ter one-day unit than Test side-it’s the for­mat that we’re more com­fort­able in,” said Zim­babwe captain Graeme Cre­mer. “We play a lot more white-ball cricket than red-ball, so our bowlers are ac­cus­tomed to bowl­ing in those con­di­tions and we also have Ti­nashe Panyan­gara back fit, which brings a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence back into our seam at­tack.” Sri Lanka won both Tests by over 200 runs, and have re­tained seven of their 11 Test starters in their one-day squad, with bats­man Upul Tha­ranga named captain for the first time in Mathews’ ab­sence.

“We learnt a lot with re­gards to what the con­di­tions are like here and how the wick­ets play. It’s fairly dif­fer­ent to Sri Lanka,”Tha­ranga said yes­ter­day.

“Most of the guys from the Test team are in the one-day side as well so that gives us a very good chance.” —AFP

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