'Excluding Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo a self-inflicted blow'

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Christchurch, Feb 18: West Indies batting legend Brian Lara has described as "a self-inflicted blow", the decision by the Clive Lloyd-led selection panel to exclude Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo from the regional side for the ongoing World Cup. 

World Cup Special

The former West Indies captain said he is confused by the decision to leave Pollard and Bravo out of the side still struggling to reclaim its title as world beaters, CMC reported Tuesday.

'Excluding Pollard and Bravo a self-inflicted blow'

Lara's opinions are contained in an article he wrote for the Trinidad Guardian newspaper just before the West Indies crashed to a four wicket defeat at the hands of minnows Ireland in their world cup opener Monday.

"I believe we have shot ourselves in the foot and had the people who selected our team seen the World Cup for the prestigious tournament it is, both Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo would have been in Australia, New Zealand," wrote Lara.

"It is hard to understand the reasons why they are absent. It's a self-inflicted blow, for sure."

Bravo was captain of the West Indies side that pulled out of a tour of India last October because of a pay dispute between the players' union and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

But Lloyd, who criticised the abandonment at the time, insisted that Bravo had not been overlooked for the World Cup because of his role in the walkout.

However the chairman of selectors, who led the West Indies to World Cup triumph in 1975 and 1979, told reporters that the time had come to exclude Bravo and Pollard on the basis of underperformance.

"Statistics do not always tell the whole story and simply put, there are no sensible reasons why both players are not there. In fact, the reasons advanced for their omissions are ridiculous," Lara wrote.

"Pollard's mere presence is enough to put fear in the hearts of the opposition, and his attitude and confidence is such that it lifts the members of his own team."

Pollard and Bravo are fourth and fifth on the list of highest run-scorers for the West Indies since the 2011 World Cup.

"Statistics cannot put a value on that, or the indomitable camaraderie and spirit which he and Bravo deliver," insisted Lara.

The Caribbean side plays Pakistan in Christchurch Saturday in their second match of the Pool B of the World Cup.

IANS

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