Thursday, April 25, 2024

Brathwaite ‘excited’ to lead Patriots


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BASSETERRE – All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has replaced talisman Chris Gayle as captain of St Kitts and Nevis Patriots for the new Caribbean Premier League season which bowls off next month.

The 31-year-old, the West Indies Twenty20 skipper, has been with St Kitts since the inception of the franchise four years ago and is one of several changes this year, with Robin Singh also taking over as head coach.

“I’m very excited. I think we had a good last couple of years where we challenged really well on the field. We went to the final and then we made it to the playoffs as well,” Brathwaite pointed out.

“So, this year is about trying to continue that same thought process, that same set of game plan and try to be as attacking as we could potentially be.

“Obviously, we had Chris and Evin [Lewis] at the top. Chris is now gone so we need to find a replacement for Chris, probably not in the same style that he would play, but with the results that he would normally bring to the team.

“Obviously, that’s another big character gone in the dressing room as well, so we have to manoeuvre slightly differently, but we need the same results where we challenge for the top four and then once we get to the top four, we challenge for the title.”

Veteran Gayle, who turns 40 during the tournament, arrived at the franchise in 2017 and made an instant impact, scoring nearly 400 runs at an average of 62 and firing St Kitts into the final for the first time.

And though his returns decreased last season with just 283 runs, Patriots were good enough to make the playoffs.

Gayle has returned to his native Jamaica Tallawahs for the pending season and Brathwaite said his departure would leave a massive void which would not be easily filled.

“I think people look for the shouting and the ‘hurrah’ and Chris is not necessarily that,” Brathwaite pointed out.

“He’s more calm, collective, cool. He leads by example. He has the respect of everyone in the dressing room, so whenever he speaks you know his words are worth the weight in gold.

“I think a lot of people take his coolness and his calm persona for granted but there’s very much a whole heap of respect in all the dressing rooms I’ve been fortunate enough to play alongside him in. Everyone in the dressing room gives him maximum respect.”

The CPL runs from September 4 to October 12, with Patriots featuring in the opener against two-time reigning champions Trinbago Knight Riders at Queen’s Park Oval. (CMC)


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