St John's (Antigua and Barbuda), Feb 15: The West Indies cricketers' acrimonious pay dispute with their Board has been resolved with 12 of them signing their contracts for the World Twenty20 in India but batsman Darren Bravo has opted out to "concentrate on the longer formats of the game".
The West Indies Cricket Board said that star batsman Chris Gayle, skipper Darren Sammy, Sulieman Benn, Jason Holder, Andre Fletcher, Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels and Denesh Ramdin have signed their contracts within the deadline that ended yesterday (February 14).
However, Bravo became the third cricketer to pull out from the squad, joining Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard. But none of them have cited the pay dispute as reason for their withdrawal.
"Following the withdrawal of Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard, selectors have named Ashley Nurse and Carlos Brathwaite respectively, to replace them," the WICB said in a statement.
"The selectors will name Bravo's replacement shortly." While Pollard was forced out due to injury, Narine insisted that he was not well-prepared for the mega-event due to the suspension he served for a suspect bowling action. Bravo has played only 12 T20 Internationals and the 27- year-old said he wants to focus himself on Test and 50-over cricket.
""I'm very grateful and humbled for the opportunity to represent the West Indies at the World Cup," Bravo said in a statement. "However, I'm of the firm belief that I have a very big part to play in the resurgence of West Indies cricket in the longer formats of the game and I will like the opportunity to play in our Professional Cricket League (PCL) because it will put me in good stead and will allow me to achieve those goals that I have aligned myself for the year 2016 and beyond."
On the brighter side, the end of the bitter pay dispute between the WICB and the players ends weeks of speculation about whether the Caribbeans will at all be present at the mega-event.
Sammy had stated that players were to be paid just USD 6,900 per match in India, a deal which was unacceptable to the them.
West Indies' World T20 squad (Bravo's replacement to be named): Darren Sammy (captain), Sulieman Benn, Jason Holder, Andre Fletcher, Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Chris Gayle, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite.