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SETTLE OR STAY OUT: The Darren Bravo conundrum

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Darren Bravo will not be considered for West Indies selection until he settles an ongoing dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board, according to Courtney Browne, the West Indies’ chairman of selectors. Bravo, 27, was forced to return home from Harare on the eve of the November tri-series in Zimbabwe after the WICB cancelled his match contract reacting to his criticism of board president Dave Cameron.

Bravo, who declined a WICB central contract, was also not picked in the Trinidad & Tobago squad for the Regional Super50, the domestic limited-overs tournament that got underway on Tuesday. Bravo recently had a Skype meeting with WICB officials, but details of the meeting have not been made public.

In the current circumstances, Browne said that Bravo could not be selected despite being “one of our better players”. West Indies’ next international assignment is a three-match ODI series at home against England in early March, followed by a full series against Pakistan beginning on March 31 in Trinidad & Tobago.

“At this stage all I know is there is supposed to have been some discussion between Darren’s team and WICB,” Browne told Line and Length Network, a Barbados-based TV station. “Until that is settled, I don’t think there will be much going on in terms of Darren playing cricket. He is a talented young man, one of our better players. Obviously it was sad to lose him but at times these things happen, you just need to deal with it and see how you can get him back on the field playing cricket.”

Former West Indies wicketkeeper Browne, who took over as chairman of selectors last June, said that his panel will be monitoring the performances of players over a period of time. He said tournaments like the Regional Super50 were very important as the selectors were looking towards building a squad keeping the 2019 World Cup in mind.

Browne said the key for young West Indies players, which formed the bulk of the ODI team that played in the tri-series in Zimbabwe, was to gain as much experience as possible and the Regional Super50 offered just that.

“This [Regional Super50] is going to be very important for us,” Browne said. “Coming after the Zimbabwe tri-series, we saw some good signs there. Obviously we have a young team. Our captain Jason Holder has played around 50 ODIs, while the others have played 20-22, quite a few are below 10 ODIs.

“It’s a young ODI team for us. So we are looking forward to the Super50 to see the incumbents continue to do the good work, and then those other players who are challenging for a place. We have a lot of ODI cricket coming up this year. We’re building up towards the World Cup. So all the players coming in to get runs, wickets can show us they have the attitude not just to be part of the team, but the kind of attitude that makes West Indies people proud.”

Browne also pointed out the selectors would not consider age as a deterrent. Consistency was what they were after.

“Age is just a number as the old saying goes,” Browne said. “People need to perform and perform consistently. We are trying to look at players over three seasons. What we are trying to do is not pick players after just one season. At times that will happen. But if we can get a guy performing consistently for two or three years, then you know he is deserving of an opportunity at the senior level or at least be considered. (ESPNCricinfo)

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