Retired West Indies wicketkeeper, Jackie Hendriks, says he is “astounded” at the omission of experienced all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and batsman Kieron Pollard from the West Indies’ World Cup squad.
Bravo, who prior to a player boycott of the regional side’s tour of India last October, was captain of the one-day team; and Pollard, revered as one of the biggest hitters in the sport, were at the weekend left out of the team’s 15-man contingent for the tournament to be held in February and March.
“I am astounded by the non-selection of Bravo and Pollard. It just does not make any sense,” said Hendriks.
“We are going to a World Cup very shortly, and the World Cup is not where you build a team.
“You need to have your best players at your disposal, and surely, Bravo and Pollard must be considered as two of our best players in this format of the game at the moment.”
West Indies’ selection panel, headed by Sir Clive Lloyd, in announcing the squad last Saturday, said emphasis was placed on trying to find a unique blend of youth and experience for the showpiece event, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand.
A very good team
“We have selected a very good team, which will do West Indies proud at the World Cup,” said Lloyd via the release.
“I have really high hopes in this team – I believe they can do something special. We have the talent and, if we can play to our potential, we have a very good chance of lifting that trophy.”
The 31-year-old Bravo has a one-day international (ODI) batting average of 25.36 and bowling average of 29.51 from 164 appearances, while Pollard, 27, has a one-day batting average of 25.20 from 91 matches.
Hendriks, in making a further assessment, also expressed hope that the WICB did not base their decisions on the roles played by Bravo, and to a lesser exent Pollard, during the India tour.
“I heard the prime minister of St Vincent, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, making it very clear in a television interview that he got a solemn undertaking from the president of the WICB, Mr Dave Cameron, that no reciprocal actions would be taken against the players who were on the tour of India,” he said.
“It begs the reason, therefore, what is the basis for the leaving out Bravo and Pollard, and leaves the situation all the more puzzling,” added the 81-year-old.
Meanwhile, Hendriks, a former president of the Jamaica Cricket Association, also outlined concerns with the appointment of 23-year-old all-rounder, Jason Holder, as captain of the World Cup squad.
“You have kept Ramdin, who was a part of the India tour as your Test captain, and you can’t keep Bravo as your one-day captain?” he quizzed.
“Instead, you are going into a World Cup with a young and inexperienced fast bowler who is your captain? It is something I can’t understand.
“The WICB and the West Indies selectors owe the West Indian public an explanation, and I am looking forward to one.”
West Indies World Cup squad: Jason Holder (captain), Marlon Samuels (vice-captain), Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Christopher Gayle, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, André Russell, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor.