Abu Dhabi: Fun, swagger and a carefree attitude - that’s the West Indian way. Win or lose, the approach remained the same. The cavalier style has been the hallmark of West Indian cricket. Twenty20 cricket and the Caribbean flair seemed a match made in heaven. And true enough, they won two T20 world cups.
Two West Indian players stood out, shining brightly for over a decade in international cricket. Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo were pure entertainers; the format didn’t matter. Whether it was for the national team or franchise cricket, they played in the same cavalier fashion.
They enjoyed their cricket, smiled a lot too. Even when they are beaten or when a batsman hits a six of them, the reaction is the same — a wide grin. Even at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday, Bravo sported a smile when Australia’s David Warner played an audacious switch-hit.
The West Indian celebrations on the field are a treat to watch. There is genuine joy when they take a wicket. They play pranks too. Like the one Gayle played on Warner when the Australian opener escaped a stumping in the Group 1 game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
Gayle snapped up a wicket too — the wicket of Mitchell Marsh when the scores were level. The bowler took a piggyback ride on Marsh. They were still having fun.
Cricket needs characters. Gayle is one; Bravo is another. The ever-smiling face of Bravo won’t be seen in international cricket as he announced his retirement after the game.
Goodbye, champion. You will be missed.