“Just trying to give back to somebody in the dressing room” – World Cup winner Brathwaite joins Bridgwater CC

Bridgwater CC brought former West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite in for his debut last weekend.

The 35-year-old, who is from Barbados, famously led West Indies to victory in the T20 World Cup final in 2016 against England by hitting four consecutive sixes in the final over of the match off Ben Stokes.

Having signed for the Somerset club last week, Brathwaite made an immediate impact with the bat, hitting 48 – including six sixes – in Bridgwater’s 142-run win against Midsomer Norton in the National Club Championship on Sunday.

“The good thing is no matter how high you play cricket can bring you back down to earth quickly, so I never turn up at a ground thinking I’m better than the players in my team or the opposition,” Brathwaite told BBC Radio Somerset.

“It only takes one ball to get you out and smacked around the park so it’s a great leveller.

“It’s about respecting the game, appreciating the privilege you have to reach the heights you reached and then just trying to give back to somebody in the dressing room and around the game.”

Brathwaite has played in the UK before, having featured for the Birmingham Bears and Kent in the T20 Blast, in 2021 and 2018 respectively, and has more than 260 T20 appearances over his career and scored close to 2,500 runs.

It was Brathwaite’s former Bears team-mate Jake Lintott, who now plays with Bridgwater, who persuaded him to join as an overseas player.

“At that point the calendar was empty and I was like ‘why not?’,” he said.

It is not the first time the club have had a star name in their midst – former South Africa bowler Alfonso Thomas spent a couple of seasons with them in 2017 while a number of Somerset players, including batter Will Smeed, have passed through their ranks.

“I just think it’s going to bring real excitement to Saturday league cricket in the West Country,” said Piers McBride, head coach at the club.

“A World Cup winner – it doesn’t get bigger than that. But the cricket family is such that we’re all grateful that – not only has he come to Bridgwater – but that he’s going to be able to help our youngsters.

“The experience for these guys just having him in the changing room is incredible. It’s giving everyone a real boost.”

Brathwaite is available for a handful of Bridgwater matches and is also set to return later in the season, hopefully to take his number of appearances into double figures.

“Hopefully there can be one or two players, whether young or old, that I can have an impact on and go on and be better human beings, cricketers, fathers, brothers, whatever,” Brathwaite said.

“If I can be a small part of that, I’d be happy.”

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