Brathwaite still basking in T20 World Cup glory, says Pakistan 'dark horses' to win in UAE

West Indies all-rounder proud of the impact his four sixes in 2016 final has had on the game

Most cricketers spend their entire careers dreaming of that winning moment on the biggest stage with the entire world watching, without ever coming close to it. West Indies' Carlos Brathwaite was not only able to be a part of such a stage, he owned it.

The 2016 T20 World Cup final will be remembered for two main reasons - Brathwaite hitting England's Ben Stokes for four sixes in the last over of the final in Kolkata to win the title and commentator Ian Bishop's famous remark "remember the name".

It has been five years since that famous night at Eden Gardens. As teams begin their journey towards UAE and Oman for the upcoming T20 World Cup, memories of that night as still fresh in the mind of Brathwaite.

Sharing memories of the biggest day of his cricketing life, Brathwaite said he is proud of his achievement.

"It’s a privilege. Some players search their whole career for that one moment. My moment happened to be on the biggest stage against an old enemy," Brathwaite said on the T20 World Cup special show Around The Wicket.

"I could never imagine having such an impact on West Indies and world cricket."

For the Barbadian, lifting the title meant much more than just having a trophy in the cabinet. It became the moment to cherish for years to come.

“I remember cradling the trophy in Kolkata 2016, I got a selfie, called my mum and dad so they were part of the celebration virtually.

“There were so many good things about that night. My girlfriend, now my wife, celebrated with us and got a picture with the trophy. So, when I look at this trophy, it’s not a piece of silverware – it brings back memories of one of the best nights of my life for a majority of reasons.

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Something just came over when I watched it again – I started to cry
Carlos Brathwaite

“I didn’t appreciate it back then – I was glued to watching the replay of hitting the sixes. But then I remember, it was a watershed moment. I stayed on in India and something just came over when I watched it again – I started to cry. I then started to separate each moment, each ball was an event, then your [Ian Bishop] commentary was an event – ‘remember the name'.

“It’s something people hardly say Carlos Braithwaite without saying ‘remember the name’ – people always say ‘I was here’, ‘I believe you could do it’, ‘I believe you couldn’t do it’. I’ve put pressure on myself to live up to it, but I’ve come to peace with that now, and now I appreciate just being a professional cricketer."

The format had already taken over the world by the time the West Indies lifted the T20 title. But with each passing year, T20 cricket and leagues, particularly, is where all roads lead to.

All-rounder Brathwaite always thought T20 would be a stepping stone to 'higher' forms of cricket.

“I love Test cricket – but T20 burst onto the scene it was all about vibrancy, colours, atmosphere.

“I would be lying if I thought it would reach the heights it has done today – I thought it would be a way to usher people from T20 to ODI and then obviously the pinnacle of Test cricket. It’s now going the other way round where people are playing their career and then retiring playing T20 cricket."

Who is the favourite in UAE?

Obviously Brathwaite is backing the West Indies to make their mark at the showpiece event. They are, after all, the defending champions and the original masters of the explosive format.

But he also expects Pakistan to be the danger side, despite their recent turmoil that included their main coaches departing and the home T20 matches against New Zealand and England called off.

“West Indies are going to win. India, West Indies, England, and I would say Pakistan are dark horses. They’re a tournament team and on their day, they are as good as anyone in the world.' Brathwaite said.

Updated: October 7th 2021, 6:00 AM
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