Brathwaite wants players to stay true to the Caribbean way
Carlos Brathwaite is happy for his West Indies side to be themselves in T20 cricket – whether that means aiming for the stands from ball one, showing off their dance moves or winding up the opposition.
Brathwaite is only making a brief stopover in England, captaining his country in today’s one-off T20 in Durham then heading home before the five-match one-day series gets under way, and he is happy to take a handsoff approach to leadership.
With personalities like the selfproclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle leading the charge and the perenially combative Marlon Samuels on parade, that is an understandable approach for the softlyspoken Brathwaite to adopt.
“You always have different characters in your team,” the 29-yearold noted before leading his side through a blustery net session at Emirates Riverside.
“The guys have the freedom to go out and express themselves, make their own calls. I prefer that to guys thinking ‘what would the coach or the captain want?’
“As Caribbean players we bring a lot of flair to the game, you can see it in our wicket celebrations, the dance moves and whatnot. With bat or ball that is always the message: have fun, express yourself.”
That message sits nicely with Gayle and his opening partner cum-protege Evin Lewis, who has scored at a breakneck strike-rate of 152 in his first 13 T20s.
“In the CPL (Caribbean Premier League) he did some breathtaking stuff,” said Brathwaite.
“If you get Chris Gayle playing second fiddle to him then you know what kind of character he is. When he gets going no boundaries in the world are big enough for him. And there’s no better person in world cricket to mentor him at the moment than Gayle.
“Chris has adapted his game somewhat, he’s probably not the swashbuckling Chris Gayle that gets 175 off 80 balls but his experience has been showing.”
Brathwaite was equally supportive of Samuels, a regular irritant to rival players over the years, not least the rested Ben Stokes.
“I know some sections like to make out he’s disruptive, but in our dressing room for sure he isn’t,” said the skipper.
Enjoy yourself: Brathwaite’s mantra.