Championship winning Red Steel captain Dwayne Bravo has been drafted by the new franchise Rajkot, in the preliminary IPL auction. Rajkot and Pune have been awarded two new franchises since Chennai and Rajasthan were banned for match fixing. Fifty players were placed in the draft and each of the two teams took turns in drafting five players each to form their base for the new teams.
Pune ended up with Mahendra Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Steven Smith and Faf du Plessis while Bravo is joined by Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner and Suresh Raina. Suprisingly, number one ranked T20 bowler Samuel Badree went unselected along with West Indian veteran Dwayne Smith. They will join the other unselected players in the overall auction carded for February 6th 2016, which would involve all the other franchises as well.
Both Badree and Bravo are currenty plying their trade in the T20 Big Bash League in Australia. On Wednesday, Bravo lamented the sorry state of West Indian cricket and said those running the game needed to take a long hard look at themselves. He was quoted as saying that "Times change and I think that is one of our problems, we tend to hold on too much to the past and not focus on the future. That has been our downfall". His remarks are in line with legendary pacer Michael Holding on Tuesday saying the West Indies Cricket Board was "dysfunctional, untrustworthy and not liked by the employees", while Brian Lara blasted its "bad governance". Andre Russell and Chris Gayle, also playing in Australia, gave similar interviews lamenting the state of the team and the pain they feel by seeing the headlines lambasting the West Indies performances in Australia. Gayle has implied that he is working on returning to the Test team by next year, but Bravo and Russell have reinforced their commitment only to the shorter form of the game.
Bravo now 32, stated "I would have loved the opportunity to play Test cricket again but since being dropped back in 2010 I never got the chance and I just decided to call it a day...[and]" move on with my life and try to channel my energy in different places”. One of those places will be Rajkot, India come next year.