Dwayne Bravo, the former West Indies cricket team all-rounder who announced his retirement from international cricket on October 2018, has spoken on the infamous series pull-out against India in 2014 and said the-then Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan “offered to pay" his players amidst the contract stand-off with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Bravo, who currently plays for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, said the BCCI understood the concern of the players and helped them immensely during that tough period which saw the side quit the tour after the end of the Dharamsala ODI.
Speaking to i955fm, Bravo said he had gotten a message from BCCI president Srinivasan at 3 AM and that prompted him to play the first ODI. “I remember fully well before we said we weren't going to play the first game, 3 am in the morning, I get a message from the BCCI boss, the old one, Mr (N) Srinivasan, that 'please take the field'. I listened to him - and woke up at 6 am to tell the team that we have to play. And everyone was against playing. Everyone thought that I panicked and chickened out and all these things,” Bravo said.
West Indies won the first ODI in Kochi before losing the second ODI in Delhi. After the third match was cancelled in Vizag, the action shifted to the fourth ODI in Dharamsala where the West Indies took the decision to abandon the tour citing the contracts dispute. In the middle of the ODI, the WICB confirmed that the tour was off.
“They (BCCI) even offered to pay us whatever we were losing. We w(ere) like, 'we don't want you to pay us. We need our board to sort out our contracts'. Collectively as a team, we decided what to do. I listened to every single player. Apart from one player, everyone signed on a piece of paper, that they were all in support of leaving the tour. But we did not just decide to walk away from the tour. There were different times when we tried to reach out to both our WIPA president (Wavell Hinds) and the cricket president (Dave Cameron, Cricket West Indies president). So we threatened (to pull out) from the first game, but we played. We threatened for the second game, but we played. The (fourth) game we went out, so it was just a message and a signal, trying to let them know that we are not happy,” Bravo stated.
West Indies’ contract muddle
Before their tour to India in 2014, the major reason for the stand-off between the players and the West Indies Cricket Board was the memorandum of understanding and the combined bargaining agreement signed between WIPA, the players association and the board in September. Bravo, who was the player representative for WIPA, said the association’s president Wavell Hinds had kept the players in the dark over the MoU, which was signed allegedly without the player’s consent.
In the Kochi ODI, Bravo had threatened to a pull-out from the tour and insisted on Hinds’ resignation. The-then skipper urged the WICB to not communicate with WIPA but the cricket board president at that time, Dave Cameron, said the board would engage only with WIPA, which prompted Bravo to call the tour off.
Following West Indies' decision to withdraw from the tour, one ODI, three Tests and one Twenty20 International was cancelled. The BCCI swifty arranged a five-match series against Sri Lanka and demanded USD 42 million from the WICB in damages.