‘Mystery bowler or not, I like to be No.1’

West Indies top leg spinner Badree speaks candidly about himself, team and Pakistan

Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
West Indies cricketerSamuel Badreeaddresses the mediaat the ICC Academy inDubai yesterday.
Gulf News

Dubai: West Indies leg spinner Samuel Badree is hailed as one of the finest Twenty20 bowlers in the world. He had a hard work out as preparation for the series against Pakistan to keep the tag as a mystery bowler. Forthright in his views, he spoke about his team’s chances.

Answering to a query from Gulf News on whether he likes to be known as a mystery bowler or a genuine leg spinner, Badree said: “I like to remain the No.1 T20 bowler in the world. Whether I am a mystery or not, it does not really matter. Just consistent performance is what I am after.”

Though Badree is 35 years old, he looks young and fit. So to query whether age does matter in T20 cricket, he said: “We have seen Chris Gayle who is the best batsman in the world in this format. He is 36 years old going to be 37. Of course there is youth required in T20 cricket but I guess consistent performance is the key and age does not really matter. Age is just a number as they say.”

Badree was also forthright in assessing the Pakistan team. “They are very similar to us in terms of their consistency or lack of it. One day they give a brilliant performance just like us the next day there is a lot to be desired, but on their day they can demolish any opposition and we are very wary of that challenge. We respect every opposition so we are going to prepare well and we will try and execute our plans as best as possible knowing that they are very dangerous team.”

Badree candidly admitted that the team playing against Pakistan is different from the one that won the World Cup. “It is a different team from the team that won the world cup. We have a lot of new guys. Two players will be making their debut on this tour. We have been here before many of us. The heat is different to what we are accustomed to. We have been before. We came here early realising that we have to acclimatise. So within the next week before the first game against Pakistan we will be well adjusted fit and raring to go. So all the players will be 100 per cent ready for the challenge.”

Badree knows the conditions here having played in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) too. “I have been here for the PSL, played with Islamabad United the team which eventually won the competition. So I have got a bit of experience here. The pitches seemed to be very good for T20 cricket and that is what you are looking for. Good competitive games. Like I’ve said before, there are a number of guys who have been here before.... the likes of Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard etc. So we are looking forward to some very good games of cricket. Of course we like to win the series and remain as one of the best T20 teams in the world.”

A shoulder injury had affected Badree’s progress but he is now fully fit. “It is always difficult to recover after a serious injury but luckily for me the transition was good because I had a good support staff and had good physios looking after me. Luckily for me it was not too much of a difficult challenge to get back into international cricket. I have performed consistently ever since then and look forward to similar consistent performances in the future,” he concluded.

SPORT PICTURE OF THE DAY: Monday, September 19

Fireworks over the arena during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on September 19, 2016. AFP