Former West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo has called Nicholas Pooran's attempts at altering the condition of the ball during West Indies' third ODI against Afghanistan a "silly mistake".
"I know Pooran since he was 17 years old and he is not that type of player," Bravo said on Thursday in Abu Dhabi where he will be playing in the T10 tournament as Maratha Arabians' captain. "Yes, that (ball-tampering) happened, the evidence is there. But deep down inside he doesn't mean anything [bad] to cheat or anything."
Pooran was banned for four T20Is after video footage showed him scratching the surface of the ball with his thumbnail. He admitted to the offence, a breach of level 3 of the ICC's Code of Conduct, and accepted the sanction proposed by match referee Chris Broad.
In his defence, the young batsman said it was an "isolated" incident, which would not be repeated as it was an "extreme error in judgment" on his part.
Pooran will now miss the ongoing three-match T20I series against Afghanistan and the opening match of the subsequent exchanges against India.
Bravo said Pooran needed to be given time to understand his mistake. "It is just a silly mistake on his part," Bravo said. "He accepted it. But I know the individual personally, and that is not something he will ever do or encourage anyone to do. It is just a simple mistake, he gets caught, he accepts it, but he is far from that type of player."
Afghanistan vs West Indies
Afghanistan v West Indies
West Indies in India