Kraigg Brathwaite Hailed As “A General of the Highest Proportions”

kraigg brathwaite
Themba Hadebe/Associated Press

Since leading the West Indies earlier this year in a test series whitewash against Bangladesh, the new West Indies captain, Barbadian Kraigg Brathwaite, has gotten general praise for his leadership, including from legendary West Indies players like Sir Curtly Ambrose and Ian Bishop. 

The 28-year-old Brathwaite led a relatively inexperienced 15-man squad to victory in the two-Test series after regular Captain Jason Holder declined selection over COVID-19 fears. Fast-bowling legend Sir Curtly Ambrose hailed Brathwaite as “innovative” and said he was happy for the new captain and his team. 

Another former West Indies bowler, Ian Bishop, branded Brathwaite as “a general of the highest proportions,” contending that his leadership had molded the side into “national heroes,” in the wake of the series whitewash of Bangladesh.

Brathwaite was officially named as the side’s new captain in early March, replacing Jason Holder and becoming the 37th Test captain of the West Indies.

He took over the team ahead of the current two-Test series against Sri Lanka, which began on March 21. And although the West Indies lost its grip on the first Test which ended in a draw, Brathwaite has been leading from the front, with an unbeaten century (126) on March 30, day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Antigua. 

This was his ninth Test hundred but his first in three years.  

Kraigg Brathwaite was born on December 1, 1992, in St. Michael, Barbados. Brathwaite attended the Combermere School in St. Michael, alongside another famous Bajan, singer and beauty mogul Rihanna. Brathwaite said long before his cricketing success, his claim to fame was that he once shared classrooms with the international superstar.

Brathwaite began playing for the Barbados cricket team while in high school. He had scored 28 centuries in local cricket before being included in the West Indian under-15 team competing in the Clico International Under-15 Cricket Championships in 2008. He made his first-class debut at age 16, scoring 73 while opening the batting for his home country. 

A year later, he was called up for the West Indies squad for the Test series against Bangladesh in 2009, when senior players had gone on strike, and was subsequently awarded a contract by the West Indies Cricket Board. 

Brathwaite won a place in the West Indies Under-19 squad for the World Cup in 2010 in New Zealand. He was West Indies’ leading run-scorer and overall second highest with 335 runs with four fifties. 

He made the senior side in 2011 and debuted against Pakistan in the home Test series. That same year, Brathwaite became only the second West Indian to score two Test fifties when he made 63 (212) against India in Delhi. In August 2012, Brathwaite led the West Indies under-19 team in the Under-19 World Cup in Australia. West Indies placed sixth overall in the tournament. 

Brathwaite’s leadership was tested again in 2014 when he was announced as Barbados’ Regional 4-day captain. Barbados finished second in the points standings and Brathwaite was the leading run-scorer for the team and third overall. 

He made his One Day International (ODI) debut for the West Indies against Pakistan in September 2016. Two months later, during a test series, Brathwaite carried his bat in the first innings, becoming the fifth player for the West Indies to do so by scoring 142 not out against Pakistan. In the second innings, he became the first opener to remain unbeaten in both innings of a Test.

In November 2017, he was named Test captain for 2nd Test against New Zealand, replacing Jason Holder, who was suspended for one match. Brathwaite became the 37th player to become Test captain of the West Indies. 

In October 2018, Cricket West Indies (CWI) awarded him a red-ball contract for the 2018–2019 season. His highest first-class score of 246 came in November 2020, versus New Zealand A at Queenstown, NZ.

Kraigg Brathwaite was named in the West Indies Test squad, for their series against England in 2020. The Test series was originally scheduled to start in May 2020 but was moved back to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2020, Brathwaite was named as the captain of the West Indies Test squad for their series against Bangladesh.

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