Dwayne Bravo: 14 facts about West Indian all-round entertainer

Dwayne Bravo, born on October 7, 1983, is a talented West Indian all-rounder, who is highly sought after in the cash-rich Twenty20 leagues around the world. Be it his blitzes with the bat, intelligence with the ball, sensational athleticism on the field, or the eye-catching dancing moves, Bravo is one of the greatest entertainers in the world of cricket.

Controversially sacked as the West Indian One-Day International (ODI) captain last month and later left out of the side for the upcoming World Cup, Bravo announced his retirement from Test cricket in January 2015. Making his debut in 2004, Bravo has been one of West Indies’ most impactful all-rounders.

Suvajit Mustafi lists out 13 interesting facts about the skilful Trinidadian.

1. Love for sports since childhood

Bravo grew up in Santacruz in the island of Trinidad in Trinidad and Tobago. As a child he looked forward to play football, beach cricket and ran races on the road. He loved playing sports. He grew up in a family that loved cricket and later went to Harvard Coaching clinic. The rise of Brian Lara motivated him to play at the highest level. In an interview in 2009, Bravo had said, When Brian Lara became such a big sensation, I knew that all I wanted to do in life was get involved in the game and play for the West Indies.

Bravo has represented Trinidad and Tobago at every level since his under-15 selection.

2. Related to Lara

Lara s mother is the sister of Darren Bravo s grandfather. Dwayne and Darren are half-brothers, which makes Dwayne distantly related to Lara as well. When the elder Bravo began his career, Lara spoke highly about him and said he had the potential to be the next star of West Indian cricket.

3. Promising debut

Bravo celebrates a wicket in his Test debut

Bravo made his Test debut against England in 2004 and was the highest wicket taker for West Indies. He picked up 16 wickets at an average of just over 26, but West Indies still went on to lose 0-4. He was a better bowler and should have ended up with a bowling average better than (almost) 40.

4. Leadership skills

Bravo became the first West Indies player to have captained both the Test and ODI teams by the age of 24. Later in 2013, he was appointed as the permanent captain of the national side replacing Darren Sammy. He was set to lead the side in the World Cup 2015, but he fell off with the West Indies Cricket Board over payment dispute. In a controversial decision, West Indies pulled out of the India tour midway. This not only led to him being sacked as the West Indian skipper, but also ouster from the side.

5. Hundred against the lethal Australian attack

It speaks volumes of one s batting skills when you score a hundred against the best team in the world, that too at the opponents backyard. Bravo did that and against the likes of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Brett Lee and Stuart MacGill. In a Test in Hobart in 2005, Bravo fought his way to an inspiring 113, helping West Indies avoid an innings defeat. This definitely Bravo was certainly much more capable with the bat that what his average of 31.42 suggests.

6. A doting father

Bravo has two children a daughter and son. During the World Twenty20 in 2014, Bravo changed his jersey number from 47 to 3, because his son was born on October 3, his daughter was born on August 3 and his mother too has her birthday on 3rd. He had then said, I just decided that in this special tournament I am going to dedicate this number three to them.

In 2009, Bravo said in an interview about his daughter. He said, Any child is special, but a daughter to a father is more special. I love my daughter. She means a lot to me. She is everything to me. And in everything I do, I think about her. All this hard training that I have been going through, all this hard work that I have put in and all my aspirations are for my daughter. She must be able to live in good stature. I hope I will be there to support her to make sure that she gets the best education and best schooling. I want to make sure that she is well looked after and she can live her life comfortably.

7. Music I

Caribbean cricketers and music make a perfect combo but Bravo takes it a step further as he collaborated with Beenie Man and Guyanese dancehall star Timeka Marshall on a single called Beenie Man N Bravo.

8. Music II

In 2014, Bravo released his first solo song titled Go Gyal Go. This music video also featured his West Indies team-mate Fidel Edwards. Bravo, who is seriously considering a career in music, upon release of his album had said, Cricket has given me the opportunity to widen my horizons. I have achieved so much in cricket and as a result, I am now also able to expand my creative sphere. Music is a passion and a way of life for me. I always maintained that, had I not carved out a career as a cricketer, I would have ended up in the entertainment industry.

Bravo has been a part of two ICC World T20 winning teams. First, he won the tournament in 2012 and then again in 2016. The ‘Champion Song’ sung and composed by him went on to be the anthem for the team.

9. On to movies

Bravo plays for Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and is hugely popular among the fans of that side. In an upcoming Tamil movie, Ula, Bravo plays a cameo, where dances for a song and has also lend his voice to the ending parts of it.

10. Playing with his brother Darren

Bravo Brothers (Dwayne front and Darren behind)
Bravo Brothers (Dwayne front and Darren behind)

Both brothers have played international cricket together for almost half a decade. Darren is very different from his five and half years older half-brother. He is a left-hander, whose batting has an uncanny resemblance with his relative Lara. Darren is a frontline batsman, unlike his all-rounder brother and his batting is more suited to the longer format of the game.

Darren was motivated by his brother as a kid. The older Bravo once shared a story, Well, he used to always ask me for bats. That s one way. He is a left-hander and I am a right hander. The only gear he could actually get from me was that. Every time I gave him a bat, he either used to give it away or break it. So then I told him that the next time you need a bat, you have to score a hundred or something like that. In a way, I actually put a price on it. That motivated him and he kept scoring hundreds.

11. Clinching the nail-biter with Yuvraj Singh s wicket

In India s tour of West Indies in 2006, the visitors had won the ODI and the hosts had to comeback in the second game at Jamaica. India needed two to win off three balls and had one wicket in hand and the dangerous Yuvraj Singh was batting on 93. In incredible display of intelligence, Bravo anticipating Yuvraj s intention to play it on the on-side, bowled a slower yorker to dismiss him. Not only West Indies won the match by a run, they went on to win the series 4-1.

12. Leading the prestigious Mumbai Indians and Mukesh Ambani’s jet plane

Bravo could have extended his Test career, had he focused less on Twenty20 cricket but nevertheless he is an asset to any side he plays for. Be it IPL, Big Bash League (BBL) or Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Bravo s spectacular display with the bat, ball or in the field, has won him fans. He once led Mumbai Indians (MI) in a match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Eden Gardens in 2010.

Earlier, in 2008, West Indies Test series against Australia clashed with the IPL and Bravo was still playing for MI. Bravo just made it to the series in time, thanks to MI owner Mukesh Ambani, whose private jet ensured he reached Jamaica, just ahead of their first Test.

13. Last ball six in CSK s do-or-die battle

In 2012, CSK the defending champions were almost out of the IPL and in a must-win game against KKR at Eden Gardens, they once again crumbled much to their fans dismay. They needed nine off the last over, which soon became five off the last ball and Rajat Bhatia was bowling beautifully. Bravo hit the last ball for a huge six, keeping CSK s hopes alive. CSK went on to play the final of the tournament and against the same opposition. However, this time KKR had the last laugh. Co-incidentally, this time KKR needed nine off the final over and Bravo was the bowler. Manoj Tiwary smacked him for two boundaries as KKR became the champions.

14. CPL Legend

Bravo has been a part of Trinbago Knight Riders (formerly known as Trinidad & Tobago Red Steels) since the inception of CPL. He has led the side to 2 titles, in 2015 and 2017.

Bravo, who played his last Test in 2010, may have retired from Tests, but fans will continue to enjoy him in the shorter formats. The formats he enjoys and delivers more.

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sports marketer, strategist, entrepreneur, philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it s cricket which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and rivu7)