Phil Simmons, the West Indies head coach, has indicated that he would like to meet you and talk to you about your plans. Has he had discussions with you?
I see that (Simmons' move) as a positive (step). I am available for international cricket, but we can only play if we are selected. We cannot play if we are not selected. So, therefore, yeah, whenever he is ready to talk, I'm ready. We have been having discussions over the phone. I am always prepared, and ready to play and represent the West Indies team. It is up to them whether they need my services or not.
Has Simmons met you after your return from IPL 2015?
We are going to meet on June 23 when I get to Barbados. We have had friendly conversations where I have given him a few ideas of what I see on the TV as far as the Test team is concerned. It has nothing to do about my return to Test cricket or anything like that. Simmons was the national coach of Trinidad & Tobago, so we have a fairly good relationship. And I am very happy he is the head coach of the West Indies team and I hope things work out and go according to plan for him.
Are you open to revoking your Test retirement?
No. There is a lot more that needs to be changed in order for me to even think of coming back into Test cricket. At the moment I am happy with my decision and I don't see it changing anytime soon unless something drastic changes.
What are these changes?
There are changes that need to be changed. I can't go into any details, but I am happy with my decision, and look forward to playing in the shorter format of the game.
How much does winning the purple cap in the IPL matter?
It is a good feeling but, at the same time, winning the purple cap but losing in the final does not really justify the purple cap. If it would have been (a case of) 'lose the purple cap and win the final', it would have been much better for me. Unfortunately, both times I won the purple cap both times we lost in the final. It is a good achievement to win the purple cap. But it would have been a lot more pleasing to win both the cap and the IPL.
Does it, in some way, prove a point to the WICB and the selectors after you were dropped from the World Cup squad?
No, no. I have no point to prove to anyone. I know my ability. A lot of people around the world know my ability and know I should have been in the World Cup team after being in the ICC ODI Team of the Year (2014). Having been West Indies' ODI player for the last 12 months and then not to be selected (for the World Cup), obviously a lot of people know that politics was involved in it. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I still consider myself one of the better allrounders in the region. It has been two tough months for me (during World Cup). While I was not playing cricket, I was making music. I had taken my focus away from cricket. I just wanted to do well for Chennai Super Kings and have a good tournament, and I did that.
Clive Lloyd, the WICB head of selectors, said that that he met you and Kieron Pollard in Cape Town and explained the selectors' vision before announcing the World Cup squad. In hindsight, do you agree with him?
No, we did not agree. We actually laughed when he said it to us. To be honest, we knew it was coming. We know the type of people in charge of our cricket are actually mature enough to make sensible decisions and the right decisions for the benefit of cricket. If we had got selected we actually would have been surprised. We expected it. There was nothing that shocked us. The explanation that they gave us was too many allrounders or they want to try young players, whatever the case might be… Kieron Pollard is 27, I am 31.
Also as far as our form was concerned, as I said, the last 12 months I had been West Indies' best player. So to be left out with those explanations, obviously, all we could have done is laugh. It was a big joke. Another World Cup come, finish. They (were) happy with their decision. They were prepared not to win this World Cup. It is a shame that before the World Cup even started, they were already prepared to lose and look forward to building for the next World Cup, whereas in the last three years we were building for this World Cup. But it is all water under the bridge now. I am not someone to hold on to anything.
The relationship between the WICB and the senior players, especially guys like you who play around the world, has remained strained despite isolated talks. What needs to be done?
For me, I am very easy. I always want the best for West Indies cricket and the West Indies team. But it takes two hands to clap. I can only do so much. I am prepared, I am willing to discuss with anyone. Chris Gayle, Pollard, we all share the same view. We all want the best for West Indies cricket.
It is strange that while T20 franchises continue to get the best out of Caribbean players, West Indies cricket is unable to cash in on similar benefits? What is the solution?
Maybe one way is the WICB or Richard Pybus (team director of West Indies cricket) should try to meet the players and try to sit down and discuss a plan forward and a way forward. Having said that, they make decisions based on what they think is right for West Indies cricket. But sometimes what they think does not automatically be (sic) the right decision. To be honest it is very challenging here in the West Indies.
You are back in the captain's seat at Trinidad &Tobago Red Steel. Were you missing the captaincy?
No, no. Not at all. Even as a kid growing up, my dream was never ever to be a captain of any team. I just want to play cricket for my country or whichever team I am selected to play for. Captaincy comes along the way because of my maturity, because of how I play and my attitude towards the game and the relationships I have with players. (And that is why) A lot of people see me as a leader. I just want to play cricket, enjoy cricket and that is what is important to me. As far as captaincy is concerned, it is very challenging. Depending on what team you are leading, you enjoy more than others. I enjoyed captaining the West Indies team because of the simple reason that I have a lot more in control.
How much will the presence of Jacques Kallis help you and T&T?
In the last two seasons, where we faltered was with our batting and also we were not able to finish off games or bat out entire innings. With his experience, knowledge, and him being a world-class player, that is going to be a big difference. We will have the rest of team bat around him. I am just happy to actually pin him down in the auction and have him in my team. He is someone that I admire and look up to. Playing and growing up and being an allrounder myself, and now sharing the same dressing room is a pleasure for me.
You said you switched off from cricket during the World Cup and focused on music. Was it a conscious decision to move away from cricket at the point where it had become painful?
I have a passion for music. So it is challenging to do music and play cricket at the same time. Recording songs is very difficult, so I used the two months to give music that time. So it was not a case of me trying to get out of cricket, or stop playing cricket. It was just for me to fulfil another hobby that I love. It seems impossible but it can be possible with hard work. I am someone very dedicated to what I want in life and I was able to do some songs. One is Chalo, Chalo and every day it is becoming bigger and bigger.
Dwayne Bravo will play for Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel in the Hero Caribbean Premier League. The Biggest Party in Sport runs from June 20 to July 26.