ST. GEORGE’S: West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron has rejected claims that all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard were fired from the World Cup squad because of their roles in the controversial abandoned tour of India last year.
Neither player was named in the 15-man squad announced last weekend to contest the World Cup, which begins in Australia and New Zealand next month. They were also overlooked for a five-match series against South Africa starting Friday.
When the squad for South Africa was announced last month, St. Vincent & the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves wrote to Cameron to complain that the WICB had “dishonoured that undertaking” of not punishing any player involved in the India tour walk-out.
However, Cameron said the One Day International (ODI) squads for both the South Africa tour and the World Cup had been selected on cricketing merit.
“We have not gone back on our agreement. At the point in time we made it very clear we didn’t want to use the terminology that was being suggested.
“And so we have been very, very firm that as a body we have entrusted that relationship and that decision making to some of the biggest legends we have in West Indies cricket and their judgement is what the board goes by.
“We have not disciplined anybody. If you talk about non-cricketing reasons, we have reviewed the task force report. As a matter of fact, we had a board meeting yesterday (Saturday) and what we have done is review the task force report and accepted a number of the recommendations for implementation,” he said in an interview on Sunday.
The task force was established by the WICB to investigate the reasons behind the abandoned tour and make recommendations moving forward.
Like the squad in South Africa, the World Cup unit will be skippered by rookie fast bowler Jason Holder.
The 23-year-old has played three Tests and 21 ODIs and replaced Bravo, who took over from Darren Sammy in May, 2013.
Dr. Gonsalves, who brokered an agreement between the players, the WICB and players union, WIPA, in the wake of the abandoned tour, also contended in his letter to Cameron that the omission of Bravo and Pollard could be viewed as “discrimination and victimization” and slammed the decision as “glaringly (lacking) cricketing merit”.
Cameron defended the squad selection, arguing that the selectors were embarking on a rebuilding process and infusing the ODI set-up with new faces.
“The team we have selected has a very good mix of experience, youth and a lot of talent,” he said. “One would remember that the team four years ago didn’t do very well in the World Cup and we are ranked number eight today so the selectors have decided they want to put some youth and build for the future and I think it is a very good balance.”