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Exclusive: Gayle, Pollard have inspired young West Indies players, says Bravo

Dwayne Bravo with Abu Dhabi T10 officials. (Supplied photo)
Dwayne Bravo with Abu Dhabi T10 officials. (Supplied photo)

Dubai - The former West Indies captain also praised the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament



by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Sat 30 Jan 2021, 10:04 AM

Last updated: Sat 30 Jan 2021, 10:16 AM

It may have been a slow recovery in Test cricket for the fallen giants West Indies, but a myriad young players from the Caribbean islands have emerged in the shorter formats, exhibiting their exciting and attacking brand of cricket in the franchise leagues across the world.

In recent years, it’s Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Brandon King and Evin Lewis that have enthralled the fans with their exhilarating shot-making in franchise cricket.

And Dwayne Bravo, an absolute West Indian legend in white-ball cricket, credited the likes of Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard for the success of the young generation of Caribbean players in the shorter formats of the game.

“I think these young guys look up to players like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, what these guys have done in white-ball cricket,” Bravo told Khaleej Times after guiding the Delhi Bulls to their second straight win in the Abu Dhabi T10 on Friday.

“The players from the younger generation now aspire to be like them (Gayle, Pollard) you know. Before them, they had Sir Viv (Richards) or (Brian) Lara and (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul, these players and the likes of Gayle and (Ramnaresh) Sarwan. The young players were looking up to those players.

“But now because of Pollard, Andre Russell, Gayle, you know, you have seen the likes of Pooran, Heytmayer, Rutherford and Brandon King.”

But doesn’t he see himself as an inspiration for younger West Indies players, having won two T20 World Cups and carved out a massive reputation as a match-winner in franchise cricket?

“My name?” he smiled.

“Well, I have done what I have done. I am happy with what I have done, but at the same time I appreciate my teammates’ performances and achievements as well.”

Bravo said the financial rewards for being successful in franchise leagues is another reason for the success of the rising West Indies stars.

“All these players are coming through because they see the opportunity where they can earn, make a good living for themselves and look after their families and play a brand of cricket that suits us,” he said.

Turning his attention to the T10 tournament, Bravo says the event has now given the bowlers a chance to compete after moving from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi.

“Every year this tournament is getting better. I think it has helped the tournament after they moved it from Sharjah to here in Abu Dhabi. It has given the bowlers a better chance of competing,” he said.

“It’s beautiful here, we have a beautiful stadium. The players, especially the international players, look forward to coming to Abu Dhabi to play in this tournament because, as I said before, it’s an exciting tournament, a beautiful city and good cricket,” said Bravo who won the tournament in 2019 as the Maratha Arabians captain.

Finally, the 37-year-old all-rounder opened up on the challenge of playing in bio-bubbles amid a raging pandemic.

“It’s tough playing in a bubble scenario. But as professionals, you know, we will much rather be in a bubble and be playing cricket. Yes, it’s challenging in a bubble and but at the same time we are happy to play cricket,” he said.


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