Darren Bravo

BACK AT HELM: Darren Bravo, T&T Red Force skipper

Darren Bravo will soon be back in West Indies colours.

The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force captain, who was set to lead the team on a two-game road trip to Dominica and Barbados in the Cricket West Indies Four-Day Championship, has now been replaced in the squad because of being called up to the Windies team for the tour of Sri Lanka this month.

Chairman of the Red Force selection panel Tony Gray yesterday confirmed that Bravo had to be replaced as skipper by vice-captain Yannick Ottley because, “he got selected for the West Indies team to play against Sri Lanka.”

The regional squad for that One-Day and T20 tour of Sri Lanka from February 17 has not yet been announced. It is not clear whether Bravo is in both teams or just one.

But reacting to Bravo’s call-up, Gray said: “It’s mixed feelings I have as chairman of selectors because Bravo has generally done well as leader of the Red Force team.

He performed well as captain in the first two games. We faltered in Guyana but that’s part of the process. But we also want to see the best players represent the West Indies team and Bravo has been one of the most talented players in the last 10 years or so. It’s nice to see him enjoying his cricket again. Obviously he has found his form and deserves another bite of the cherry.”

Bravo, last represented the regional team during last year’s ICC 50-over Cricket World Cup in England, but lost his place in the side following the match against Bangladesh on June 17.

Bravo had only returned to the team in March, for the Test series against England after having been in the wilderness for two years because of controversial tweets about then Cricket West Indies president Dave Cameron. Since losing his place at the World Cup, Bravo has taken the opportunity to rebuild his career.

In the Regional Super50 series in November, he was the second-highest run scorer. Bravo—given an all-format retainer contract by CWI late last year - was then made captain of the Red Force for the current Four-Day Championship and made an instant impact.

However, Gray acknowledged that the skipper’s absence against the Windward Islands Volcanoes this week and the Barbados Pride the following week will be felt.

“It’s a big loss to not have Bravo going to those venues,” Gray told the Express yesterday. “But,” he added, “we have Denesh Ramdin coming back in and hopefully his experience will shine through on these overseas trips. But we cannot be dependent on senior players alone, the young players have to show their ability.”

Ramdin, Red Force captain up to last year, will now be expected to provide support to Ottley, who himself was previously skipper of the four-day team in 2016.

“He has the experience behind him, he has the demeanour. We think that he is the right man for the job,” Gray said of Ottley.

Successful Regional Super50 skipper Yannic Cariah, who led the West Indies Emerging Players to victory last year, has been named the new vice-captain.

Meanwhile, opener Keagan Simmons who had been left out of the original squad selected last week for the upcoming pair of games comes back into the squad.The Red Force squad leaves this morning for Dominica.

Squad: Yannick Ottley (Captain), Yannic Cariah (Vice-captain), Keagan Simmons, Jason Mohammed,

Jeremy Solozano, Denesh Ramdin (wicketkeeper), Joshua Da Silva, Terrance Hinds, Bryan Charles, Kissoondath Magram, Akeal Hosein, Uthman Muhammad, Daniel St Clair. Mervyn Dillon (coach), David Furlonge (manager).

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