Bravo hopes Rutherford and Shepherd stay positive despite World T20 snub
By Akeem Greene
Seasoned West Indies all-rounder and current captain of St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Dwayne Bravo, has offered words of encouragement to fellow all-rounders Sherfane Rutherford and Romario Shepherd.
While the two Guyanese have impressed thus far in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League, they have not gained selection to the West indies 15-man squad or the reserves list for next month’s World T20 in the United Arab Emirates.
Bravo hopes the duo remains steadfast on improving their craft since there is a World T20 next year in Australia.
“It is just to stay positive; Sherfane has been out of West Indies cricket for some time now, and it is good that he found a new life now. He has switched teams and he has shown the world how good he is as a player,” Bravo expressed at a press briefing on Monday.
After a horrid 2020 season with the Guyana Amazon Warriors where he scored just 39 runs in seven games, the left-hander joined the Patriots and found form, scoring 226 runs in eight innings at 37.66 and strike rate of 129.14, to go along with three half-centuries.
“I personally believe he is up there with some of the best in the world and definitely in West Indies cricket, he is easily in the top three [of] young talented batsmen,” Bravo added.
“So, it is good he grabbed the opportunities with both hands; he reminded the world [and] West Indian selectors of the talent that he has, no it is for him to continue to stay hungry.”
“This CPL opened up some doors for him where he is now a part of the IPL again, so all he has to do is keep performing, stay hungry, stay committed to the sport, stay discipline and his chance will come. He will be disappointed yes, not being in the World Cup 15, but there is World Cup another 10 months down the road, so definitely he should be eyeing that.”
The 23-year-old Rutherford has joined Sunrisers Hyderabad for the remainder of the Indian Premier League. It is his third stint in the world’s biggest T20 League.
Additionally, Shepherd had 36 runs in the tournament entering the final match of round-robin play on Sunday. There, he scored twice as many in incredible style, digging his side out of a hole at 75-7, while scoring at a strike rate better than 200; he then took three wickets in the chase.
Now he has moved to the joint-leading wicket-taker -18 wickets– with Ravi Rampaul at 12.44 an economy rate of 7.46, and 108 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of 168.75.
“With the likes of myself, [Andre] Russell, [Kieron] Pollard, Jason Holder, all of us who are ahead of him [Shepherd]…but it is good he came and had a brilliant CPL…most of the young players, I always try my best to pass on whatever experience I have [and] to see them perform in the way they do is a pleasure for me.”
The West Indies World T20 squad has attracted much attention in the public domain, with many questioning the selections and non-selections, the omission of Rutherford and Shepherd being one such in focus.