Brathwaite a ‘little’ nervous before heroics


West Indies' final-over hero Carlos Brathwaite proved to be the master of the understatement when he called the situation in the World Twenty20 final against England 'a little nerve-wracking'.

The Windies needed 19 runs off the final over in Kolkata to win their second WT20 title. and Brathwaite smashed Ben Stokes for four sixes in a row to end the game with two balls to spare.

The Windies were chasing 156 to win, and while they were initially three down for just 23, a brilliant effort from Marlon Samuels, who made 85 not out, kept them in the game until the last.

Brathwaite said to ESPN Caribbean of the final over: "It was a little nerve-wracking to be honest, I just tried to stay focused, use my cue words, watch the ball and take some pressure off Marlon.

"It would have been too hard to give him a single and expect him to do it all. I just had to bite the bullet and try to get a couple of boundaries, which fortunately I did, give God thanks for bringing it home for the people in West Indies.

"After the third six I just backed myself, go hard, if it goes in the air I knew Marlon would finish it but I knew I had to be there as close to the end as possible.

"We continued to back ourselves, back our strength and our strength is hitting boundaries. Once we knew it was manageable we knew we could do it.

"I just want say a special mention to everyone in Sergeant's Village, my family, my friends and especially to Mr Erroll Edie, the master bat-maker from the Caribbean.

"He made this special beauty for me to use in the World Cup and he told me, 'Carlos, go out there and smash 'em'. Erroll, I did, and now we are world champions."

Brathwaite also addressed the pre-tournament criticism from the media, as well as the side's constant struggles with their board over salaries and contracts, saying that their talent saw them triumph, despite the obstacles.

He added: "Most of the nations have more resources than we do, but we have natural talent. It has been said we don't have brains, that we don't harness our talent, that we do things off the field that contribute to poor on-field success.

"But I just want to say being around these guys, that everything we do on and off the field is for the betterment of West Indies, not just the team but also cricket and the region in general."