Former West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo announced his return to T20 International (T20I) cricket.
The former captain represented West Indies in 40 Tests, 164 ODIs, and 66 T20Is. He last year announced his retirement from all formats of cricket. Taking U-turn on his decision, the veteran has now made himself available for the ICC T20 World Cup 2020, which will be held in Australia.
The Caribbean star said, “I would be making a return to international T20 (T20I) cricket. I won’t be playing ODIs or Tests. I want to fully commit myself to the West Indies cricket team and play the T20 World Cup. Due to changes at the administration level (in Cricket West Indies), I think this is the right time to return and contribute to the team. I still believe I’m fit enough to play international cricket. All the administrators, coaches, and players can now together work towards uplifting the team.”
In 2016, West Indies became the first team to win the ICC T20 World Cup title twice. They occupied the top position in ICC T20I Rankings. Dwayne Bravo was the major contributor in both the tournaments. Now, the Windies have fallen back to the 10th spot in T20I rankings.
As stated by SportsStar, Bravo said in the presser, “I’m going to take it to step by step. The T20 World Cup is in October. There’s going to be at least 20 games before that. I want to earn my place in the squad. Windies were World No. 1 not long ago; now, the team is ranked 10th. We have a good set of players. If managed well, they can take the team back to the pinnacle.”
Dwayne Bravo last represented West Indies in a T20I against Pakistan back in September 2016. With Phil Simmons and Kieron Pollard taking over as coach and captain respectively, the star all-rounder feels that the Windies could keep improving as a team from here on.
Bravo, regarding Kieron Pollard taking charge of the T20I team as the captain said, “Pollard is a very passionate guy. His leadership skills are good. The coach-captain relationship is very important for any team. He and Phil enjoy a good relationship. They will mostly have the same plans and will be on the same page. The current administration backs them. Pollard in his short stint as captain (against Afghanistan and India) has already shown what he can do. He’s the one to take us forward.”
Bravo also rated the youngsters in his national side as some of the best around. He said ,” I feel players like Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer have the potential to dominate world cricket in the future. I am very thrilled and excited with the youngsters in the West Indies team. The new management wants to mix experience with youth. The senior guys can guide exciting guys like Hetmyer, Hope, etc. in their transition. We’re way better than our current ranking, and the mix of youth and experience will help us improve.”
West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick welcomed Dwayne Bravo’s decision and said the star all-rounder’s return into the international fold would serve as a boost to the national team.
Bravo on Friday made a U-turn on his retirement and has made himself available for T20 selection.
“I can’t say when he is likely to return, but if he has made the announcement, I am delighted,” Estwick said during an interaction at the Chepauk ahead of the first ODI between India and West Indies on Sunday.
West Indies are a powerful T20 unit, and Bravo’s availability is undoubtedly a shot in the arm ahead of the T20 World Cup next year.
“Bravo’s availability means it will give us another very experienced player in the dressing room and also on the field. With someone like Bravo’s experience in T20 cricket, he will be welcomed by all in the group. Dwayne Bravo has got a lot to offer, and he will certainly be a precious player.”
Bravo has been a revelation in the T20 circuit and has been a proven performer, especially at the death overs.
Playing for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Bravo has delivered the goods many a time.
Talking about Bravo, Estwick said,” We all know about his death bowling skills, his variations but most importantly his experience that he brings to the table. It is exciting to have players like that, and I am glad he has made himself available.”
Bravo retired from international cricket in October 2018 and last played a T20 fixture in October 2019.