Mumbai, May 18 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has revealed that during his childhood days he only wanted to play for the West Indies someday, adding that he got inspired by the exploits of five Caribbean legends — Desmond Haynes, Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose and Ian Bishop.
The 38-year-old Bravo, who retired from international cricket after the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE last year bringing the curtains down on an illustrious career which saw him play 40 Tests, 164 ODIs and 91 T20Is, said he is happy that he was able to live his “childhood dream”.
Bravo, who has been utilised mostly as a bowler by CSK this IPL season and has been quite successful in the 10 matches he has played for the franchise in IPL 2022, taking 16 wickets, added that he remembers the days when his father would drive through his village, picking up young boys from their homes along the way to the ground. In fact, Bravo himself used to be in the van as a six year old.
“My dad is one of the main driving forces behind my career. He has this pick up van and he will drive through the village from house to house and if there is a boy child in that house between the age of eight to fifteen, he would say come in the truck. Let’s go to cricket,” Bravo told CSK TV.
“He took pride in that. He didn’t have to know you. He will just drive around the village and just pick up kids and take them to coaching. It was something to get us active, to get us away from the negative side of life. So I used to always tag along. I was younger, around six years old and everyone else was older than me. That is how it was in the Caribbean.”
Speaking about the cricket culture in the Caribbean, Bravo, who has plied his trade across the world playing in several franchise leagues, added, “Cricket is the main sport in the Caribbean, and it is the only sport that actually brings the Caribbean people as one. It is the only unifying sport in the Caribbean. And, cricket is the sport that puts the West Indian people together. We are all independent countries — Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, we are all independent islands.
“But, when it comes to cricket, we all come together to represent the entire Caribbean people and it is everybody’s dream to play for West Indies because as a kid growing up, that is all you hear… West Indies, West Indies, West Indies. And, I never got the opportunity to see Sir Viv play, and the greats before him, Sir Gary and these guys play.
“But my dad is a huge cricket fan and he always talks about the three Ws, Gary Sobers, Gordon Greenidge and these guys, and when I started to follow the game and understand the game, there was Desmond Haynes, Lara, Walsh, Ambrose and Ian Bishop. Those are my childhood heroes, and I just wanted to be a West Indian player someday, and thankfully it happened. I have lived my childhood dream and I am happy,” he added.