Gujarat Lions will miss Dwayne Bravo for the entire 2017 Indian Premier League with the West Indies all-rounder failing to recover from injury he suffered during the Big Bash League.
The Suresh Raina-led Gujarat Lions had hoped Dwayne Bravo would regain fitness during the tournament amid speculation he was ready to join his IPL team, but it has been confirmed that will be the case.
Gujarat Lions owner, Keshav Bansal, tweeted on Sunday before the start of the match against Kings XI Punjab at Rajkot that the Trinidadian impact player will miss the entire IPL.
“Going to miss this Champion! Unfortunately he has been ruled out this season due to injury! I wish him all the best for a speedy recovery!” tweeted Bansal, with a photo of him and Bravo.
The Gujarat franchise is expecting him to get fit during the later part of the League as he was travelling with the team while undergoing rehabilitation.
“It is with deep regret that I announce my decision to withdraw from the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League, owing to my hamstring injury,” Bravo said in a statement.
“I have been with the Gujarat Lions squad since the beginning of their IPL 2017 campaign, undergoing my rehab on the sidelines, in the hope of returning to the cricket field in the second half of the tournament.”
Bravo’s hamstring injury
Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina said during the toss: “No Dwayne Bravo. He’s been doing proper rehab and it might take three-four weeks, so he might be out of the tournament. So, now we have to talk to the management and think about a replacement.”
Raina had said during previous matches that they were missing the expertise of Dwayne Bravo, who was one of their mainstay during 2016 IPL. Bravo, playing for Melbourne Renegades, had suffered a serious hamstring injury in December while fielding in the defeat against Perth Scorchers.
Dwayne Bravo, in a statement, said although he has started training, he has not reached a level of fitness that would enable him to resume playing.
“I have been with the Gujarat Lions squad since the beginning of their IPL 2017 campaign, undergoing my rehab on the sidelines, in the hope of returning to the cricket field in the second half of the tournament.
“While recovery is going well and I have made vast improvement and have participated in team trainings with the Lions, my body is not ready to perform at its fullest potential.
“I have the deepest respect for the calibre of players and sportsmanship at the IPL and undoubtedly have the love and support of the best sports fans in the world. It is for them that I perform at my best every time I go on to the pitch. Unfortunately, I am simply not able to perform at my best which is what my team, fellow cricketers and fans deserve.
I sincerely apologise to my Gujarat Lions teammates, franchise owners and all my wonderful fans all over the world for this disappointment. I, too, am deeply saddened and disappointed, particularly because I know how much my fans were looking forward to my return.”
Dwayne Bravo was an integral part of twice former IPL champions Chennai Super Kings, and was bought by newly formed Gujarat Lions in the 2016 player auctions. An excellent batsman in the middle-order, Bravo’s clever pace variation has also helped his Twenty20 teams clinch many close matches.
Gujarat Lions were languishing at the eighth and last spot in the IPL points table, tied on four points with three other teams, including Kings XI Punjab.