The BBL's West Indian quartet go from friends to enemies in a Boxing Day showdown
The BBL’s West Indian quartet will go from Christmas Day dinner friends to cricketing enemies in a Boxing Day showdown
It’s a cultural mixing pot throughout the islands, which is just what the Big Bash has with four West Indian stars, from three different countries and three different cultures.
But a long way from home these holidays Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Nicholas Pooran and Andre “spiceman” Fletcher have come together in the Big Bash hub to bring a little bit of the Caribbean to the Gold Coast.
Holder recently joined Brathwaite at the Sydney Sixers after the Test series in New Zealand, with Nicholas Pooran linking up with Fletcher at the Melbourne Stars.
All four have left loved ones at home, with Brathwaite confirming his sick dog is now better and in thw hands of his wife.
And being in each other’s company has come at the perfect time.
“Funny enough, although there are four West Indians, we are from within three different nationalities and within those nationalities Christmas celebration will be slightly different,” said Brathwaite, who, like Holder, is from Barbados.
Pooran is from Trinidad and Tobago and Fletcher from Grenada.
“But all the celebrations have that Caribbean flavour. It will be great to get together and make it feel as close to home as possible,” Brathwaite said.
Friends on Christmas Day will however become Boxing Day foes when the four imports square off in a rematch of last year’s final, in which none of them played, and all those niceties will be put to one side.
“Off the field we are good friends, good mates and we’ve got things we chat about pertaining to the culture and stories we have, but once you get on the field, you are playing for the badge, friendships go out the window,” Brathwaite said.
“Yeah, you might share a smile because you do know that person, you have a soft spot for them, but you are contracted to play for a team. So I can assure you there won’t be too many niceties from us to them or from them to us. we’re all as competitive as possible.”
That competitiveness has an underlying motivation too.
Brathwaite and his fellow West Indians are driven to play their best when they get gigs in T20 competitions around the world, to create a pathway for the next generation to ensure Caribbean cricket remains a force.
“For sure. (Kieron) Pollard, (Dwayne)Bravo, Dre Russ, Chris Gayle, those guys have paved the wave for us to be here and it’s incumbent on us to put in enough performances that makes people look towards the West Indies for more players,” he said.
“Trying to keep that trying going along. we do have an extra bit of needle to fight hard and pull through the next generation.”