All-rounder Dwayne Bravo has conceded that he will need more time to fully recover from the hamstring injury that has been bothering him since December last year. He tentatively predicts that the 2017 Caribbean Premier League, set to be hosted in August, should mark his return to cricket.
However, fans might be able to see a glimpse of the cricketer before the CPL as he has confirmed to a part of the friendly match for the opening of the Brian Lara Cricket Academy this month.
“My next competitive cricket will be for CPL. I am playing the game for Brian Lara on Friday,” he told line & length, a Barbados-based network. “I’ll bowl two overs, maybe, just to see how it is getting back. International cricket is different. I want to give myself the best chance of coming back and playing the way I usually play, which is to give 100% and do all the crazy things I do. I am not going to rush into anything. My target is to keep training and get my entire body in shape.
Bravo, who travels around the world playing in different T20 franchises, suffered the injury during his stint with Melbourne Renegades in December last year. The injury turned out to be serious and eventually required him to undergo surgery followed by a lengthy rehabilitation procedure.
This led to him missing the Pakistan Super League in February. He made attempts to play when he joined his IPL franchise Gujarat Lions in India but did not play as his rehabilitation remained incomplete.
“I have improved a lot. I am closer to playing now than I was three-four months ago. The surgery itself was successful. It’s just a matter of continuing my rehab programme. I don’t want to rush things, it’s a very severe injury. I want to make sure I am feeling good and comfortable in my mind.
Dwayne Bravo also asserted that he remained available for selection in the West Indies T20 squad, the only format which he plays for the team. The 32-year-old last played for West Indies in September 2016 against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi in a T20 game and last played an ODI in October 2014.
His absence from the national side is because of the tussle between the cricketers and West Indies Cricket Board. The WICB’s stringent selection policies for the ‘T20 specialists’ who have contracts all over the world has repelled away some of the top names from the national setup.
Currently, players need to participate in the Regional Super50 List A competition to be available for selection in the ODI side. Bravo and other seniors have opposed this policy as it does not guarantee selection in the team.
“I am available for T20 selection, it’s the only format in which I am available for selection. So if selected for T20s, I will play. I will always have the passion and the drive to play for West Indies. I am only limited in being able to play one format and those are things that I don’t have control over.”
“I am not going to give up the contracts that I have around the world to come back and play in the domestic tournament,” he said. “I did it already and I got burned. I am not going to allow the same mistake to happen again. I gave up half of my contract in BBL in 2015 to come and play and make myself eligible for selection for the World Cup and the Sri Lanka tour, but I was not selected.
“Playing in those tournaments doesn’t guarantee you selection. It makes you available but it doesn’t guarantee selection. I am past the stage where I will give up a certain amount of money on my contract and make myself available without any guarantee. If the structure changes or something different happens, then yes.”