Leaving out Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard wasn't easy: Clive Lloyd
Chairman of the West Indies selection panel Clive Lloyd has defended the selectors’ decision to exclude Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo from the 2015 World Cup squad, saying that the duo weren't victimised and that the selection panel intended to try something different for the mega event. Bravo and Pollard were dropped from the squad for the World Cup as well as the ODI leg of South Africa’s tour of West Indies.
“Let people understand that we have been at the bottom rung of the ladder for the last eight years or more with the same players, recycling people all the time,” Lloyd told Digicel-SportsMax, a sports channel in the Caribbean.
“We are trying to get the best team out there. We have to try to get out of that No.8 position. We have to try different things,” he added.
“The point is that now we tried to see if we can change things. It is obvious picking a West Indies team is not easy. It is going to take some doing because we don’t have a great set of players to choose from. If you look at the stats of our players, they are not wonderful, so we will be picking players averaging 20, 25, some even 19 … we starting from scratch,” the former two-time World Cup winning skipper said.
The decision to drop the duo was criticised severely by the team’s hard-hitting opening batsman Chris Gayle, who termed it “ridiculous”. He had further added that their exclusion would weaken the side considerably.
Disappointed with the way Gayle reacted: Lloyd
The 70-year-old expressed his disappointment over the outburst, saying that he is someone whom he had a lot of respect for and the panel had made the selection only for the betterment of the game in the Caribbean.
“I am very disappointed with Chris that he said that because he is somebody I respect, but he is not a selector. He might think it was victimisation, but I have nothing against him. Quite a few of the other players are playing. Why are they not victimised,” he asked.
“We think that it is important that we have a settled side. I have no axe to grind; I don’t dislike anybody. We want the best for the West Indies,” he further said.
Lloyd said that it was a hard decision to leave out the two all-rounders, but added that they came to a conclusion that someone new needs to be given a chance to showcase their talent at the international level.
“It was not easy to leave out those two guys. It is a discussion that went on and one and on and in the end we thought that we have so many allrounders. We were trying to see if we can introduce some new faces and as far as I am concerned I think we have a good all-round one-day side,” he said.
Not the end of the road for them: Lloyd
He also said that just because the duo weren't picked for the event doesn’t mean that their careers have come to an end.
“It is not a situation where these guys have been wiped away. They have a chance at playing for the West Indies again. We have a new captain (Jason Holder) and hopefully he will get the support that is needed and we can put in a very good performance,” Lloyd said.
He also was optimistic about Andre Russell, saying that if he applies himself more, he could develop into a fine all-rounder.
“Sammy has helped people along and I think he will be good for young Jason (Holder) but I actually think Andre Russell could be a fine allrounder if he applies himself,” he concluded.