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Walk like a champion? DJ Bravo announces retirement from West Indies cricket

Trinidad and Tobago international cricket star Dwayne “DJ” Bravo has called time on his West Indies career, after 14 years with the regional team.

Bravo announced his retirement from all formats of the international game tonight, via a press statement. One of the world’s most sought after T20 all-rounders, the 35-year-old will continue his lucrative first class career.

Photo: West Indies cricket players (from left) Chris Gayle, Dwayne Brave, Darren Sammy and Andre Russell celebrate after their 2016 World Twenty20 Championship final win over England.
(Copyright ESPN)

“After 14 years, I still remember that moment when I made my debut for the WI,” stated Bravo. “I received the Maroon cap before walking onto the Lords cricket ground against England in July 2004. The enthusiasm and passion I felt then, I have kept with me throughout my career.

“However, I must accept that for me to preserve my longevity as a professional cricketer, I must do as others before have done, leave the international arena for the next generation of players.”

Two months ago, Bravo told Wired868 that he set himself a target of breaking into the West Indies’ 50 overs team for the ICC 2019 World Cup. And, towards that end, he turned out for the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the ongoing Regional Super50, alongside his brother Darren Bravo and Kieron Pollard.

All three players have had their differences with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) over the years but Pollard and DJ Bravo continued to enjoy fame and fortune abroad, due to their skills in the T20 arena.

However, despite leading the Chennai Super Kings to the prestigious IPL title and successfully steering the Trinbago Knight Riders to an unprecedented title defence in this calendar year, the WICB did not select the elder Bravo on its T20 team to tour India—let alone to its 50 over side.

Photo: TKR captain Dwayne Bravo plays a shot during CPL action against the Barbados Tridents at the Queen’s Park Oval on 7 September 2018.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/CA-Images/Wired868)

And, according to sources, Bravo accepted that he had little chance of adding to his two T20 World Cup titles or representing the West Indies in next year’s ICC showcase event.

In 14 years, Bravo played just 40 Tests with returns of three centuries and 13 half-tons as a middle order batsman with an average of 31.42. He took 86 wickets with two five wicket hauls and a bowling average of 39.83.

There were 164 ODIs with two centuries, 10 half-centuries and a batting average of 25.36 while, with the ball, he took 199 scalps at an average of 29.51.

Since the introduction of T20 cricket, just over a decade ago, Bravo represented the West Indies 66 times with four half centuries and a batting average of 24.29 along with 52 wickets and a bowling average of 28.26.

Arguably, statistics do not capture Bravo’s true worth. Blessed with boundless energy, safe hands and an astute cricketing brain, he became one of the game’s most recognisable figures—a fact that he exploited to launch a second career as an entertainer.

Photo: TKR captain Dwayne Bravo (centre) celebrates with bowler Kevon Cooper (left) after their CPL Eliminator win against SKNP at the Brian Lara Academy in Tarouba on 14 September 2018.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Bravo had hoped to win the nod from West Indies’ selectors for a final fling in maroon. On Wednesday 24 October, he conceded that a return to the international arena was unlikely and declared his innings.

Dwayne Bravo statement:

Today I want to confirm to the cricket world that I have officially retired from International cricket in all formats of the game.

After 14 years when I made my debut for the WI, I still remember that moment I received the Maroon cap before walking onto the Lords cricket ground against England in July 2004. The enthusiasm and passion I felt then, I have kept with me throughout my career.

However, I must accept that for me to preserve my longevity as a professional cricketer, I must do as others before have done, leave the international arena for the next generation of players.

I thank the countless persons who were instrumental to my success, particularly my family and QPCC where I developed my skills at an early age. I thank the many loyal fans who continue to support my journey and who recognise my efforts on and off the field.

I am extremely fortunate to have a career that has taken me across the globe into the most prestigious dressing rooms sharing experiences with all the recent Legends of this glorious game. I will continue my professional career as a cricketer and entertainer living as a true Champion.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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2 comments

  1. Hannibal Najjar

    “………I will continue my professional career as a cricketer and entertainer living as a true Champion” – there are your closing words and I like it, love it! Indeed a true champion you appear to be, and, Bravo to you, Dwayne. Ask yourself what would be your definition of a “True Champion”? I believe that you have shown to be that in many ways. I remember when you first came on the scene I was asked to speak to the T&T cricketers at the training complex in Couva – you were very attentive and high in participation. You had those lit-up eyes and showed to possess the desire to self-direct and acquire what is needed to ascend to the top. A True Champion, as I have coined in 1994 in the following phrase is, “One who gets up when lame; One who shares the fame, and; One who always takes the blame”. From what I have gathered, Dwayne, you appear to fit this mold. Good luck and always and in all ways, seek to be true to the truth.

  2. Earl Best

    Read the statement again. He did not “declare his innings;” he retired hurt, very hurt.

    Somewhere, Cameron is wearing a broad smirk; myopic and selfish to the last, Mr President understands nothing about winning battles but losing wars.