PORT OF SPAIN (AFP) – West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo has been suspended from his team's encounter with Sri Lanka in the fifth match of the Tri-Nation Series at the Queen's Park Oval on Sunday.
In a decision handed down by the International Cricket Council match referee Jeff Crowe and released on Saturday, it was explained that the all-rounder faces the sanction due to his team's second minor over-rate offence in a 12-month period.
The West Indies were determined to be one over short of the required over-rate during the fourth match of the series against India on Friday.
It follows on a similar infraction less than a month earlier during the final group match of the Champions Trophy against South Africa at Cardiff on June 14.
Bravo pleaded guilty to the offence and as the West Indies team did not contest the charge, there was no need for a formal hearing on the matter.
Coming hard on the heels of a 102-run loss to the Indians in that rain-affected fixture, Bravo's suspension represents a further setback to a home side that is now in danger of losing momentum completely after they concluded the first half of the league schedule with two wins from two matches at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
While they remain at the top of the standings with nine points, another heavy defeat to the Sri Lankans followed by an Indian victory over Angelo Mathews' side in the final preliminary match on Tuesday could, depending on the net run-rate calculations, see the West Indies squeezed out of the July 11 final.
This will be the second occasion that Bravo has missed action in the brief competition as he was ruled out of the first encounter against the Indians in Kingston with a mild groin strain.
Kieron Pollard, who led the hosts to a one-wicket victory in his compatriot's absence, is now expected to be at the helm once again with Devon Smith the automatic replacement for Bravo in the batting line-up.
Sri Lanka will be brimming with confidence after they annihilated India by 161 runs in the last match played at Sabina Park before the tournament shifted to Trinidad and will be keen to capitalise on a West Indies team that was thoroughly outplayed by Virat Kohli's men on Friday.
They are expected to field an unchanged eleven in pursuit of a victory that will pull them level with the Caribbean side at the top of the standings.
While the loss of Bravo may not be perceived to be a significant bowling setback, given that he conceded 57 runs off just seven overs as India raced to 311 for seven on Friday, head coach Ottis Gibson is now faced with an additional challenge in sorting out his bowling options, most of whom wilted under the pressure from Kohli and company.