West Indies' Dwayne Bravo disappointed by Kevin Pietersen absence

Last Updated: 27/02/14 11:29pm

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West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo has admitted he is disappointed not to be facing Kevin Pietersen when England visit for their limited-overs tour.

Record runscorer Pietersen was axed by the England and Wales Cricket Board from all future plans in the aftermath of this winter's Ashes whitewash in Australia, his international career therefore effectively over at the age of 33.

"Regardless of how good you are, there are (team) guidelines and there are rules. Whoever the player, you have to respect that."
Dwayne Bravo

But Windies captain Bravo is regretful rather than relieved that there will be no Pietersen to test his young team in three one-day internationals in Antigua - the first live on Sky Sports on Friday - and then three Twenty20s in Barbados.

"I would have loved KP to be here," said Bravo. "He's a player that the world loves to see play cricket.

"Despite his problems, personally I love to see him play - and it would have been good for us to actually play against him.

"It's good for international cricket to have someone of his calibre to continue playing.

"But that's his issue and England's issue. We don't have to worry about him."

Asked if he was taken aback by Pietersen's enforced retirement, Bravo said: "No, I'm not surprised. At the end of the day, no player is bigger than the game.

"Regardless of how good you are, there are (team) guidelines and there are rules. Whoever the player, you have to respect that.

"For me personally, I am a Kevin Pietersen fan - and I know the world is too."

Gayle out

West Indies are without their own headline act, with destructive opener Chris Gayle nursing a hip injury.

"We are missing Chris Gayle, who is our best player. We are looking forward to his return," added all-rounder Bravo.

"But I'm happy with my squad of young, talented players - training hard and coming into our own. We're going to do well."

England have arrived with a team of Twenty20 specialists without rested captain Alastair Cook and his regular ODI opening partner Ian Bell and despite their recent misery, Bravo expects a stern test.

"I think the squad is very good," he said. "When I look at the players they have in the set-up, they are young and exciting and talented.

"We are not expecting an easy game. They have played Twenty20, and can play the longer form of the game as well. They are a very good team, well-drilled in a professional set-up.

"I've told our guys to continue and keep believing. We will play very hard and fair, and enjoy the contest.

"It gives us the chance to see where we're at."

Watch the first ODI between West Indies and England live on Sky Sports from 1pm on Friday.

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