Discarded West Indies opening batter Kieran Powell has added his voice to the criticism of Darren Bravo’s omission from the West Indies One-Day International squad to face England, saying it “makes no sense.” And Powell is calling for clarity on the West Indies selection policy.
Powell, 33, who last played for the regional team in 2021, told the Mason and Guest cricket radio show in Barbados on Tuesday: “There needs to be some sort of selection criteria put out into the public so everybody, all the stakeholders, all the shareholders can know.”
Powell said he was “not surprised” that the selection panel that includes lead selector Desmond Haynes, Roland Butcher and white-ball coach Daren Sammy, left 34-year-old Bravo out.
“This is actually a discussion I’ve had with the selection panel myself before the start of the four-day season last year. I asked him (Haynes) if there is a reason why I have not been considered for selection for some time because over the past two four-day seasons combined, I’ve scored the most runs in the Caribbean, but as Darren alluded to, there’s no communication unless you as a player instigate communication from the selection panel, which is absolutely ridiculous.”
In an Instagram post on Saturday, where he announced that he planned to “step away just for a bit” after being overlooked for the England series, despite being the leading run-scorer in the recently-concluded Super50 Cup, Bravo said: “Without any level communication I’ve been left in a very dark place.”
And on Tuesday, Powell noted that Bravo’s omission on the ground of age, went contrary to recent statements by the selectors.
“Even during the Super50 just concluded, there was a seminar put on by the West Indies cricket board where Andre Fletcher posed the question to the selection panel, ‘is there something against players over a certain age’ and the answer that was provided to us is that once you’re playing you’re eligible, and once you perform, you meet the criteria for selection. He (Bravo) played, he performed and it’s been back-to-back years he’s performed across formats, so I don’t see why he shouldn’t be selected.”
And referring to his own experience as a young player, Powell further made a case for Bravo’s ODI inclusion.
“When I made my debut, they had guys like Shiv Chanderpaul, the Chris Gayles, the Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravos etc, that will take you under their wing…
“You can’t say because you’ve invested in two young players (Keacy Carty and Alick Athanaze) that you can’t pick another senior player. You didn’t pick two players, you picked a squad of 15 players, so that doesn’t sit well with me and it doesn’t really make much sense.”
Another former WI opening batter Philo Wallace also disagreed with Bravo’s exclusion.
“You cannot rebuild alone with young people, you got to rebuild with some experience and I think that Bravo is at the right stage of his career now, where he can stabilise that middle,” Wallace said.
He added: “When you look at Bravo who has now come back into his own and he’s an attractive player, I think that he can lend support that that middle order needs…I feel Bravo’s hurt.”