Skipper’s double mission


NEW?Barbados first-class cricket captain Kraigg Brathwaite left the island yesterday for St Lucia at the helm of the national senior side on a double mission.
He’s on the hunt for personal and team glory.
Barbados will begin their title defence in the West Indies’ Regional 4-Day Championship with a first round match against the Windward Islands starting on Friday at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
And Brathwaite, who at 21 is the youngest cricketer to captain Barbados, says while the team will be looking to retain the four-day title, he is going after a double century.
“Obviously, I am looking to get some big scores that will help the team, at least three hundreds, and I would love to get a double in one of the games while averaging above 60,” Brathwaite told NATION SPORT prior to his departure.    
With five first-class centuries under his belt and over 60 at all levels of the game, he said he wants to join the list of Barbadians to score a double hundred in the regional first-class championship.
“I really want to do so because it would be a big feat. I will also put my name out there for West Indies’ selection,” said Brathwaite, who has already played ten Tests.
Brathwaite, who is regarded as a solid opener, who accumulates his runs through occupation of the crease without taking undue risks, said he has been constantly working on improving his range of strokes.
“Going out there, you got to assess the conditions and to me, it is just about laying the foundation for the team and making things easier for the batsmen to come but I have working on rotating the strike for as much time as possible now. I know I am getting better but I still have some work to do but I believe I am close to getting a double [century],” he said.    
Even though he is new to captaining the senior team, Brathwaite said he doesn’t foresee any problems leading a team with a number of senior players.
“I am expecting the fellows to gel well and not have any foolish problems. It won’t be an easy task but I know I can do the job. I believe the fellows have a lot of respect for me and I will be the best that I can be,” he said.
While he will welcome any advice he can get from the experienced players in the side, Brathwaite said it won’t be a free-for-all.
“I am all for advice but at the end of the day, obviously, it is my decision. Obviously, I am not going to let a fellow get away with anything. I am going to be as firm as possible but still not overdoing it,” he said.
However, he doesn’t feel the added responsibility should affect his batting as he gets inspiration from South Africa’s captain Graeme Smith, who was only 21 years old when he was appointed Test captain of the Proteas.
“Hearing about him [Smith], captaining from young, obviously, it is an inspiration for me. I obviously want to captain the West Indies but I will just take it from stride by stride,” Brathwaite said.
“I see myself as a leader so I will just continue the same way . . . I don’t think it would have any effect on my batting . . . .
“Now we have won the 50-over [NAGICO Cup] and won the four-day last year, teams are going to come harder,” he noted.
“But once the senior players, especially, continue to lead from the front, we will come out on top again,” he added.
SQUAD: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Rashidi Boucher, Jonathan Carter, Kevin Stoute, Kenroy Williams, Roston Chase, Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich, Miguel Cummins, Ashley Nurse, Tino Best, Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite.


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