West Indies v England, 1st ODI, Antigua

'I'd have loved KP to be here' - Bravo

George Dobell in Antigua

February 27, 2014

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Kevin Pietersen speaks to the media, Brisbane, November 19, 2013
"A Kevin Pietersen fan" is how Dwayne Bravo described himself © Getty Images
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Dwayne Bravo has expressed his disappointment at the absence of Kevin Pietersen from the England squad touring the Caribbean, but admitted he could understand the decision taken by the ECB to exclude him.

"I would have loved KP to be here," Bravo said. "He's a player that the world loves to see play cricket. Despite his problems, personally I love to see him play and it would have been good for us to actually play against him. It's good for international cricket to have someone of his calibre to continue playing."

But Bravo, who may well have simply been attempting to appease all parties in an argument that tends to polarise opinions, also claimed he was "not surprised" by the decision to end Pietersen's international career.

"At the end of the day, no player is bigger than the game," Bravo said. "Regardless of how good you are, there are (team) guidelines and there are rules. Whoever the player, you have to respect that.

CPL 'a shot in the arm' for the Caribbean

  • The value of the Caribbean Premier League exceeds US$105 million to the region, according to new research. The Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) at the University of the West Indies, has concluded that the 2013 tournament generated a combined impact of US$105.6m with more than 250,000 spectators attending matches across Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and St Lucia.
  • Coming at a time when several Caribbean countries are struggling to deal with the impact of the global economic downturn, news that the tournament can boost GDP by up to 0.7% only goes to underline the enduring importance of cricket in the region. The impact extended far beyond ticket sales or television rights, with other sectors such as general services, transport and communication, government services, hotels and restaurants, manufacturing, health care and insurance, and financial services all reporting a boost.
  • In all, the direct and indirect impact was calculated to be $36.4m, with the induced impact worth $69.2m. "With the region still feeling the effects of the global financial crisis, CPL has been a real shot in the arm for the Caribbean," Professor Densil Williams from the University of the West Indies, said. "The tournament could trigger an even bigger revival, because as it grows and the brand becomes more recognised, we anticipate that the impact on the economies will be much greater."

"For me personally, I am a Kevin Pietersen fan. And I know the world is too. But that's England's issue, and I don't have to worry about it."

Bravo also has to cope without some of his leading players. Big hitting batsmen such as Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard are both unavailable due to injury, while Kemar Roach is one of several fast bowlers - Shannon Gabriel, Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards are among the others - unavailable, leading Bravo to bemoan the burden carried by Caribbean fast bowlers.

"We have a lot of key players missing," he said. "We play a lot of cricket now and we play a lot on flat wickets in the Caribbean that means fast bowlers have to work a lot more. I'm just waiting for the day when we can have a fully fit squad when can pick our best XI. That day is yet to come."

But the absence of senior players has provide opportuntiy for others and, in 22-year-old Barbadian, Jason Holder, Bravo clearly spots great potential.

"Jason Holder is definitely going to be one of our best fast bowlers," Bravo said. "I wouldn't want to put too much pressure on him, but I honestly believe he is going to be the closest we shall get to Curtly Ambrose. He still has a lot to learn, but he is definitely one of our best fast bowlers."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

This would be a great time for the West Indies to catch England napping. It seems to be an unnecessary series, adding to the gluttony of ODIs we have been witnessing in recent times. Lack of big stars and the knowledge that this series is merely one amongst several meaningless ODI series will only add to the public disinterest in ODIs and could hasten the extinction of the format. England lack genuine consistency and match winning potential in the batting department, which could present the likes of Holder the opportunity to boost their confidence ahead of more meaningful tournaments.

Hard to believe England are still persisting with Bresnan. He appears toothless, and could prove to be cannon fodder for their batsmen. This series could be the one to boost West Indies's current abysmal position in the ICC Rankings. ATB to WI!!!

Posted by westindiesupporter on (February 28, 2014, 6:12 GMT)

West indies go and win the series. You are the best in the world.

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