Dwayne Bravo lashes out at West Indies selector Desmond Haynes after Darren left out from England ODIs

“When will the BS [sic] stop?! I’m not surprised by my brother’s non-selection, but with the recent changes in WI cricket management, I held onto a bit of hope for the better,” Dwayne posted on Instagram. “This is NOT acceptable, and I just can’t make sense of it! So here are my burning questions: What’s the criteria for West Indies team selection? Surely, it can’t be solely based on performance?”

Darren was the leading run-scorer in the Super50 Cup 2023 that concluded earlier this month and captained Trinidad & Tobago to the title. He scored 416 runs in the competition at an average of 83.20 and a strike rate of 92.03, batting at No. 3, and was one of the two players with over 400 runs in the competition. Bravo also was among the leading run-scorers for Trinidad & Tobago last season in the 50-over competition with 240 runs at an average of 48 and a strike rate of 76.92.

Following the squad announcement on Monday, West Indies’ lead selector Desmond Haynes indicated Darren, 34, had been left out to give opportunities to younger players keeping the 2027 ODI World Cup in mind.

“It was a very tough decision for us to make as a panel,” Haynes said of Darren’s omission. “Darren has proven, not only this year but last year as well in the Super50 tournament, to be somebody who has performed well at this level. But we have invested in players like Alick Athanaze and Keacy Carty.

“We also had to take into consideration that the World Cup 2027 is something that we have got in mind. We believe that we have invested in these players, and we need to give the opportunity to play against a very strong England side. That is the reason why Darren has been omitted.”

Dwayne accused the selection panel of “mistreatment” and “disrespect” towards players.

“I usually stay away from these discussions, but the mistreatment, disrespect, and dishonesty towards players over the years demand a voice. When will it stop?” he wrote.

“To Mr. Desmond Haynes, your statement didn’t surprise me. It feels like another former player singing for his supper. I hoped for trust in the system with figures like you, Sammy, and the new director of cricket, but the system failed again. To my brother, this too shall pass. Keep your head up, stay focused, and trust in the Almighty.”

While Darren was excluded, Kjorn Ottley, 33, was picked for the first time since 2021 as a back-up opener after Justin Greaves was ruled out with injury. Ottley made his ODI debut in Bangladesh in January 2021 and scored 25 across two games before being left out. But he put in a strong performance in the Super50 Cup this year with 317 runs while opening the batting. Only Greaves and Darren had scored more runs than Ottley this season.

“You got to look at the roles that you want the player to play,” Haynes said. “Kjorn Ottley was included in the team as we had an injury to Justin Greaves. We thought we wanted somebody to bat up front and that’s the reason why Ottley got picked.

“It is also important to have people playing in our domestic season and doing well. We keep saying all the time, our pool is not that big. I also mentioned about investing in young players like Athanaze, Keacy Carty. If we do the knee-jerk reaction where we just decided to invest in guys one year and then get rid of them next year, I am not too sure if that’s good for the development.”

Haynes: Hayden Walsh was very close to selection

After unimpressive outings in ODIs against India at home and Pakistan away as well as the T20Is against New Zealand at home last year, legspinner Hayden Walsh Jr was left out of the West Indies side and was not selected for the T20 World Cup in Australia. Ahead of the CPL 2023, he switched from Barbados Royals to Jamaica Tallawahs, but played just two matches.

After he was dropped last year, Haynes said he had asked him to look at his bowling footage in order to work on his shortcomings.

“Last season I was the first to go to Hayden when he lost his confidence and I suggested ‘get a camera to look at you, where you are bowling’,” Haynes said. “I thought at the time he was not bowling well and need some assistance from the outside just to have a look at him.

“This year I can tell you that I am very impressed with the way the ball was coming out of Hayden in this competition. We even made the suggestion to the West Indies Cricket Board to have Hayden in the 16 and he is going to be in Antigua for the camp.”

Walsh returned to form with both bat and ball in the Super50 Cup bagging 20 wickets – joint-most in the tournament with Sunil Narine – and scoring 222 runs with two fifties and a strike rate of 100.45. Against West Indies Academy, he came in with Leeward Islands at 157 for 6 and scored an unbeaten 60 off 55 to lift them to 239. He then picked up five wickets to help his side win by 66 runs.

His second fifty came in a similarly tough situation in the semi-final against Barbados. Walsh scored 57 off just 45 to help Leeward Islands recover from 179 for 6 to post 290.

“We were very impressed with Hayden,” Haynes said. “He used to be a two-dimensional player. He batted very well for Leeward Islands, came in at some crucial times and gave Leeward Islands a really good partnership and get them some good runs. We were very impressed with his batting as well.

“Hayden was very close to selection, and I am happy he has got back his form. He is bowling well and is always going to be in our plans.”

Haynes also said that he was told Jason Holder “is involved only in T20 and Tests” and is not available for ODIs.

S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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