Just weeks before the World Cup, there is a storm in West Indies cricket. The omission of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo from the World Cup squad is threatening to disintegrate further an already fractious Caribbean set-up. A day after Chris Gayle slammed the team selection as "ridiculous", Pollard took to Twitter and taunted chief selector Clive Lloyd.
Gayle, who slammed a 41-ball 90 to script the highest ever run-chase in T20 Internationals against South Africa in Johannesburg on Sunday, said it was "ridiculous" to axe two of West Indies most explosive players.
Due to pay disputes, Bravo had led a players revolt during the team's tour of India last year. Like several other members of the World Cup squad, Pollard sided with Bravo. West Indies had pulled out of the India series in a dramatic move that soured relationship between the Indian and West Indian cricket Boards.
"How can those two guys not be in the team? To me, it got to be like victimisation when you look at it towards those two guys. Come on, guys. It is just ridiculous," Gayle said in Johannesburg. Pollard was grateful for the support.
Thanks @henrygayle well batted on and off the field ..!! Keep that fire burning ..!! ???? appreciate the support- Kieron Pollard (@KieronPollard55) January 11, 2015
Pollard also taunted Lloyd, a former legend who now leads the selection committee. Michael Holding, a member of Lloyd's highly successful squad, had recently slammed the West Indies Board for punishing players who had revolted.
West Indies selectors probably want a new leader and named the inexperienced Jason Holder as captain. Bravo has played 164 ODIs while Holder, who debuted nine years after Bravo first played for the West Indies, has featured in only 21 ODIs.
However, West Indies Cricket Board boss Dave Cameron has defended the 15-man squad and insisted each member was selected on merit and form. But Cameron's explanation looks baseless, given the recent performances by Pollard and Bravo.
Bravo was in impressive form with the bat against New Zealand last year and was the team's anchor with scores of 56 not out, 43 not out and 106. He followed up with a 35 versus Ireland and 87 not out against England before going eight innings without a fifty.
However, Bravo made up for poor form with the bat in those eight innings by snaring 22 wickets. Suffice to say, he would have been a potent weapon during the World Cup.
Pollard's omission was as shocking given his knocks of 89 against Bangladesh and a composed 40 against India. The 27-year-old Trinidadian said he was untroubled by the snub and promised to continue entertaining with his explosive brand of cricket that has won him admirers all around the world.
Don't let your hearts be troubled , fans well wishers, supporters.! I will sleep comfortable, HOPE THEY CAN..!! Will continue to entertain- Kieron Pollard (@KieronPollard55) January 11, 2015