Courtney Browne, the West Indies chairman of selectors, has said that allrounder Carlos Brathwaite cannot be expected to produce the heroics of the World Twenty20 final each time he plays. Browne was commenting on Brathwaite's lean form with the bat in the recently-concluded Regional Super50 domestic one-day tournament, won by Barbados Pride, Brathwaite's team.
Since the beginning of 2016, Brathwaite has scored just 304 runs in 27 List A games at an average of 14.47, with a highest score of 46. With the ball, he has taken 46 wickets at an average of 30.66. Brathwaite, who was recently made West Indies' T20 captain, hasn't enjoyed too much success in the shortest format either. In 26 T20s since 2016, Brathwaite has managed just 212 runs at 12.47 and 33 wickets at an average of 30.66.
"What you must understand is this is still a young man," Browne told a Caribbean radio station. "If we expect Carlos to repeat what he did in the World Cup every single time, we're going to fool ourselves. Carlos needs to develop like any other cricketer. We've dug ourselves in a massive hole over the years, there's no quick fix to our problem. It is about hard work. It's not about 'you've had five games, you have not performed' so just throw the player away."
Browne pointed out that Brathwaite has earned a lot of respect from coaches and captains over the years with his attitude and hardwork. In January, Brathwaite opted to leave early from the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League where he was signed as a replacement for fellow West Indies allrounder Andre Russell.
Incidentally, he was one of the three players - along with Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels - to decline a WICB contract late last year. Although he is an attractive buy for teams across domestic Twenty20 leagues, Brathwaite has said he wants to focus on doing well for West Indies.
Brathwaite, Browne said, was an "investment" that would come good eventually. "He's a young player who is a very exciting player on his day, who hasn't played a lot of international cricket either," Browne said. "He's an investment and we all know if we get him right what he can produce for us. Carlos's strike rate would be more than the other bowlers because of the time of the games when he bowls.
"Carlos and a lot of the other players, we have players now who actually want to play, we have players who are committed, they are self-starters, they work hard. When you see players who are doing that, you know that you will be able to create that environment that is conducive to producing cricketers that can perform consistently."
Browne said West Indies' selection panel are likely to give players an extended run in the playing XI to help them develop, as opposed to the approach of selection in the past.
"We are number eight in the world because we put ourselves there by playing bad cricket over the years by making bad decisions. When you look at our players, there are some who have been given a little extension because you want them to develop," Browne said.
"We don't want to have a case where you have a whole bunch of players, like what used to happen in the past, where we had so many players, all of them had games under their belts but none ever got a good extension or fair run to help them to develop. We need to develop cricketers."