Brath­waite wants play­ers to stay true to the Caribbean way

Sport360 - - Cricket | News - By Rory Dol­lard @thervd ed­i­to­rial@sport360.com

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.

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