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West Indies have robbed World Cup of star power

Chris Gayle has come down hard on the West Indies Cricket Board for 'victimising' Bravo and Pollard with World Cup axe, likely due to the lingering payment dispute.

Cricketnext Staff |January 13, 2015, 8:12 AM IST
West Indies have robbed World Cup of star power

The tumult in West Indies cricket has cost the upcoming World Cup two of limited-overs biggest stars. Dwayne Bravo and Keiron Pollard will not be there in Australia and New Zealand to showcase their all-round skills, as the games who's who assemble for the biggest spectacle.

There are multiple theories doing rounds, where Chris Gayle has called the decision as 'ridiculous' and equal to 'victimisation' while the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has maintained that the squad has been picked on merit.

Bravo was leading the Windies until his team's controversial decision to abandon India tour midway after talks over a payment dispute between players and WICB failed to break the impasse. But since then, the relations have soured further and reached a melting point before the World Cup selection that surprisingly chopped Bravo and Pollard's name from the list.

Both the allrounders remain part of the limited-overs squad currently playing in South Africa and have found support from team-mate Chris Gayle, who didn't mince words when quizzed on the selection during a press conference.

"There is no way you can come to me how can those two guys not be in the team," Gayle said during the presser following West Indies' world record win in the second T20 at The Wanders.

"To me it got to be like victimisation when you look at it towards those two guys. Come on, guys. It is just ridiculous. Come on, ridiculous. [It] Really hurt, ridiculous. Honestly, it threw me off. We can only talk. We can express our feelings, which I'm doing at this point in time. The squad already is announced. It is just sad."

The following day, WICB came out with its response to Gayle's scathing attack, saying that the squad has been picked on merit and reports of sanctioning Bravo and Pollard are mere conjectures.

"We have not disciplined anybody. If you talk about non-cricketing reasons, we have reviewed the task force report [on abandonment of India tour]. As a matter of fact, we had a board meeting yesterday [Saturday] and what we have done is review the task force report and accepted a number of the recommendations for implementation," WICB president Dave Cameron has said.

"The team we have selected has a very good mix of experience, youth and a lot of talent. One would remember that the team four years ago didn't do very well in the World Cup and we are ranked number eight today, so the selectors have decided they want to put some youth and build for the future and I think it is a very good balance," Cameron added.

Whatever be the clarifications, the fact of the matter is that Bravo and Pollard can walk into any ODI team and to say that they have been dropped on merit is nothing but, as Gayle puts it, ridiculous, especially since West Indies are trying to arrest a free fall in world cricket and struggling to find players that can perform consistently.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
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