Darren Bravo steps away from cricket ‘just for a bit’ after ODI squad exclusion

Darren Bravo has decided to take a break from cricket following his non-selection in West Indies’ squad for their three-match ODI series against England next month.

The 34-year-old, who last played for West Indies in February 2022, continued to be left out despite topping the run charts in the 2023-24 Super50 Cup, where he scored 416 runs at an average of 83.20.

It is not yet clear how long Bravo intends to step away from the game.

“I’ve taken some time to ponder and wonder what’s my next step moving forward as a cricketer,” Bravo wrote on Instagram. “At this point in my career it’s not easy or should I say it takes a lot to continue to find the energy, the passion, commitment and discipline to be able to perform to the best of my ability and put myself in a position to make my return to international cricket.”

Apart from the senior ODI side, Bravo has not found a place in either the West Indies Academy squad that is playing a home series against Ireland Academy or the West Indies A squad that is touring South Africa for three unofficial Tests.

“Without any level communication I’ve been left in a very dark place,” he further wrote. “At the moment there’s three teams representing the region in multiple formats/series. That’s approximately 40-45 players and if I can’t be in any of these teams after competing in our regional tournaments and scoring runs, therefore they are basically telling me that the writing is on the wall.

“I’m not giving up but I believe it’s best to step away just for a bit and maybe make some room for a young and upcoming talent. I will end by wishing each and everyone [sic] all the very best. “I’ve lived my dream.””

Bravo has played 56 Tests, 122 ODIs and 26 T20Is for West Indies since making his international debut in 2009. While chief selector Desmond Haynes defended his exclusion on the grounds that West Indies were looking to give longer runs to younger batters such as Alick Athanaze and Keacy Carty – particularly given that the next ODI World Cup is four years away – the decision has not gone down well in all quarters.

Bravo’s older brother Dwayne, a former West Indies captain, hit out against the selectors, accusing them of “mistreatment, disrespect and dishonesty towards players”.

Antigua will host the first two ODIs of the West Indies-England series, on December 3 and 6, before the series concludes in Barbados on December 9. The teams are also scheduled to play five T20Is, from December 12 to 21, in Barbados, Grenada and Trinidad. (ESPNcricinfo)