The love is still there: Dwayne Bravo in solid defence of former teammate Jerome Taylor’s on-field commitment. Photo: Ryan PierseDwayne Bravo has launched a strong defence of Jerome Taylor’s commitment to the West Indies in the aftermath of his fielding blunder at the weekend.
Fast bowler Taylor missed a catching opportunity at fine leg, in a practice match against a Victorian XI, because he was leaning over the boundary fence, facing away from play, and was oblivious to the chance.
Bravo, who first played international cricket with Taylor almost a decade ago, said the 31-year-old had a track record of striving to help the West Indies succeed.
“I don’t think any player would go on a cricket field and … not care. All of us go out there to try our best. This is our job, this is what we do,” said Bravo, who is playing for Melbourne Renegades because of his long-term exclusion from the Test team.
“It’s easy to say the players aren’t interested or the players don’t care, but it’s far from the truth. Jerome Taylor is someone who bowls his heart out for the West Indies, whether the wicket is seaming or whether the wicket is flat.
“Sometimes as players, we all go through it, where you play your heart out but the scorecard doesn’t reflect your effort.
“Definitely Jerome Taylor is someone who gives 100 per cent all the time. As a former captain, he’s a bowler you want behind you.”
Bravo spent Tuesday morning at West Indies training, primarily to see coach Phil Simmons, with whom he has a strong relationship, and half-brother Darren Bravo.
“It was good to see the guys … share a few hugs and talk,” he said. “The love is still there. Those guys are a young team … most of them look up to me. I chat to most of them on the phone. Jason Holder, I talk to him a lot.”
Most of the West Indies players are expected to be at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night, to watch Bravo and Chris Gayle representing the Renegades in the Big Bash League.
Since arriving in Melbourne last week Bravo has benefited from some good news: he has found a new home in the Indian Premier League, was bought in the Pakistan Super League draft, and played a vital big-hitting role late in the Renegades’ innings as they successfully chased 181 away to Brisbane on Saturday.
“Funnily enough, since I’ve been sidelined by the West Indies’ team a lot of great things have been happening for me,” he said.
Bravo stood by his decision to strongly criticise the West Indies Cricket Board last week, even if doing so hinders his ambition to play in all formats for the West Indies. Currently, he is just in the Twenty20 team.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s going to put me offside,” he said.
“I speak my mind. I’m very honest with what I’ve been saying.”
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