No Bravo, Pollard for World Cup: Ramnarine
Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard are not part of 15-man West Indies World Cup squad according to Dinanath Ramnarine, the former West Indies legspinner and former longtime president of West Indies Players Association.
"Confirmed Bravo and Pollard are both out of the 2015 WC," Ramnarine, who was the WIPA CEO and president between 2001 and 2012, said on his personal Twitter account on Thursday afternoon Caribbean time. Ramnarine's tweet came as a surprise considering the WICB has not yet announced officially the World Cup squad even if there has been a growing speculation about Bravo and Pollard missing out once they were left out of the ODI series in South Africa. Asked the source of his information, Ramnarine said he could not reveal but said it was true.
The WICB, when contacted by ESPNcricinfo, did not want to respond to Ramnarine's statement, saying that they would "neither confirm nor deny" the news and asked to await a formal announcement likely on Saturday if not later Friday once the first Twenty20 between South Africa and West Indies is over.
There have been no public comments made by Bravo and Pollard. The two are currently with the West Indies squad for the three-match Twenty20 series.
Last month Clive Lloyd's selection panel dropped the trio of Bravo, Pollard and Darren Sammy from the five-match ODI series against South Africa, starting on January 16. Jason Holder, an inexperienced fast bowler, replaced Bravo as the ODI captain while Sammy was later added back into the squad.
The change in the ODI leadership came two months after West Indies pulled out of their tour to India with one ODI, one T20 and three Tests pending, due to a protracted disagreement between the players, the board and the players' association over the payment structure specified by the players' revised contracts. Bravo had vocalised the players' stance in several letters to the WICB and WIPA.
According to Ramanarine, the WICB had ignored the advice of its own task force set up to investigate the contracts dispute, which lead to the players pulling out of the India tour. The task force - comprising Michael Gordon, Wes Hall and Richard Cheltenham - said all three parties including WICB, WIPA and the players carried the blame for the debacle. "WICB set up their own Task Force - Task Force findings - WICB wrong, WIPA wrong and Players wrong End result - Pollard & Bravo get dropped," Ramnarine, who tussled long, hard and frequently with WICB during his WIPA role, said.
The WICB has remained silent despite vehement criticism to explain the reasoning behind the dropping of the trio from some eminent former West Indies players like Michael Holding and even St Vincent and Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.
In a guest column on ESPNcricinfo, Holding said the players were being punished by the administrators for no reason. What was appalling for him was how a player like Bravo, who had made it in the ICC ODI Team of 2014, could not find a place in the West Indies squad.
In a similar scathing assessment, Gonsalves blamed WICB president Dave Cameron for "dishonouring" the agreement that the players who abandoned the India tour in October would not be victimised.
According to Ralph Thorne, the players' legal counsel, the inclusion of the dropped trio in the Twenty20 leg of the South Africa series was just a "consolation prize" and a deliberate move by the WICB to push aside his clients from participating in the World Cup. "Their retention in the Twenty20 team is not merely a consolation prize, but that inclusion, joined with their exclusion from the ODI team, is a gentle form of ruthlessness that disqualifies them from the most meaningful opportunity to compete for a place in the World Cup squad."
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo