West Indies desperate for Aus tour
Dwayne Bravo says first XI want to come out of the cold for winter tour after boycott.
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2009 08:07 GMT

The West Indies first XI celebrate at the World Twenty20 in June [GALLO/GETTY]

Top West Indian players are desperate to tour Australia after being frozen out of the ICC Champions Trophy following their strike.

A pay dispute with cricket administrators in the Caribbean meant a second-string team had to be fielded for two Tests against Bangladesh in July – while the West Indies board stuck to their guns in fielding that weakened team in all matches since.

But all-rounder Dwayne Bravo said on Tuesday that the players wanted to return for a tour Down Under in November.

"We are all going to make ourselves available, that is definite," Bravo told Tuesday's Age newspaper.

"We are looking forward to getting back playing international cricket."

Although the players ended their boycott after the Bangladesh Tests, the second-string captained by Floyd Reifer also played the following one-day international series and the ICC Champions Trophy tournament that ended on Monday.

Ratings bonanza

The protracted dispute has threatened to derail Australia's cricket summer, traditionally a ratings bonanza for broadcasters and sponsors, with interest likely to plunge with the prospect of a one-sided white-wash.

"If they go to Australia with a second-string team it will be as if they are airing their dirty laundry in public"

Fica chief Tim May

Bravo, who has been out of Test cricket for more than a year due to an ankle injury, said the players would front up for a regional tournament in Guyana later this month to make themselves available for selection.

"It's a long while since I played a Test match and I want to get back on the test pitch. The last time was against Australia and now I am hopefully going to be back playing Australia again," he said.

Tim May, chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (Fica), said he would now expect a "greater urgency" to resolve the dispute.

"The West Indies have made themselves available so you would like to think that the West Indies board would make some better decisions... If they go to Australia with a second-string team it will be as if they are airing their dirty laundry in public," he said.

The first Test starts in Brisbane on November 26.

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