WICB president Dave Cameron has said Darren Bravo was offered a Grade-C contract because his "poor" recent performances did not merit a higher pay grade. Cameron also revealed that of the 15 players who were recently offered WICB contracts till September 2017, only Kraigg Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels had received contracts higher than the C category. Along with Bravo, Carlos Brathwaite and Samuels, who was given a Grade-B contract, had declined the board's offer.
This is the first time that the WICB offered an explanation of the contract Bravo was offered. "It is explicit that if your averages are not above a certain level it tells you what contracts you get. It is very, very explicit," Cameron told SportsMax TV, a Caribbean television network. "His averages in the last two years have been declining, so what do you do? Reward poor performance or do you encourage him to get better?"
Bravo is one of the most experienced players in the West Indies Test squad and when Cameron asked if it was demotivating for the batsman to be offered a low contract, he said: "If you continue to keep giving him an A contract then what is the motivation to get better? He has been on an A contract and he hasn't done well."
Bravo responded with a tweet saying he had never been offered a Grade-A contract. "You hav been failing 4 d last 4yrs. Y don't u resign and FYI I've neva been given an A contract. Big idiot @davec51," he said on Twitter.
Bravo, 27, was West Indies' second-highest run getter in the recently concluded Test series against Pakistan in the UAE. Before that, he had a poor Test series against India at home, scoring only 139 runs in seven innings. Since November 2014, Bravo scored 1089 runs in 17 Tests for West Indies, a tally that is second to Kraigg Brathwaite's 1258 runs in 20 matches. Bravo scored two centuries and seven fifties in this period, and was also the second-highest run getter for the side in away Tests in this period, with 391 runs at an average of 43.44. Bravo's overall batting average in overseas Tests is 51.18.
The WICB retainers comprise five categories - A+, A, B+, B and C - and the eventual grades are based on a points system used for players. These points are calculated by an appraisal formula that compares the player's performance over the last 12 months to his overall career figures. In 2015, Bravo scored 644 runs in nine Tests at an average of 35.77, with his best performances coming overseas. In Sri Lanka, he scored two half-centuries from four innings before racking up 247 runs in five innings at 49.4 in Australia. In, Bravo aggregated 300 runs in five matches at an average of 37.50.
Cameron did not provide the specifics of how many points Bravo had scored. "Every single player got C contract except Kraigg Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels," he said.