West Indies batting legend Brian Lara has described as “a self-inflicted blow”, the decision by the Clive Lloyd led selection panel to omit Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo from the regional side for Cricket World Cup 2015 currently underway in Australia and New Zealand.
Lara, the former West Indies captain, says he is confused by the decision to leave Pollard and Bravo out of the side still struggling reclaim its title as world beaters. Lara’s opinions are contained in an article he wrote for another local newspaper just before West Indies crashed to a four-wicket defeat at the hands of minnows Ireland in their World Cup opener Sunday night.
“I believe we have shot ourselves in the foot and had the people who selected our team seen the World Cup for the prestigious tournament it is, both Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo would have been in Australia, New Zealand,” wrote Lara. “It is hard to understand the reasons why they are absent. It’s a self-inflicted blow, for sure”.
Bravo was captain of the West Indies side that pulled out of a tour of India last October because of a pay dispute between the players’ union and the West Indies Cricket Board. But Lloyd, who criticised the abandonment at the time, insisted that Bravo had not been overlooked for the World Cup because of his role in the walkout.
However the chairman of selectors told reporters that the time had come to exclude Bravo and Pollard on the basis of underperforming. “Statistics do not always tell the whole story and simply put, there are no sensible reasons why both players are not there. In fact, the reasons advanced for their omissions are ridiculous,” Lara wrote. “Pollard’s mere presence is enough to put fear in the hearts of the opposition, and his attitude and confidence is such that it lifts the members of his own team”.
Pollard and Bravo are fourth and fifth on the list of highest run-scorers for West Indies since the 2011 World Cup. “Statistics cannot put a value on that, or the indomitable camaraderie and spirit which he and Bravo deliver,” insisted Lara. West Indies play Pakistan in Christchurch on Saturday in their second match of the World Cup.