WT20 title win won't change things back home, says Dwayne Bravo
West Indies' star all-rounder Dwayne Bravo feels the functioning of West Indies board will stay poor even if the Caribbeans lift the prestigious World Twenty trophy
New Delhi: It will be a full house at the Wankhede Stadium when India take on the West Indies in the second semi-final of the ICC World T20 tomorrow. Being hosts, MS Dhoni & Co are expected to be backed by some strong home support, but there will also be fans who enjoy Chris Gayle in action or the Windies' 'Champion' dance, inspired by Dwayne Bravo's new music album, every time they take a wicket.
West Indies' Dwayne Bravo bowls against England at the Wankhede Stadium earlier this month. Pic/AFP
In an interview with mid-day, Bravo, who has claimed 10 wickets in the ongoing tournament so far including figures of 4-21 in the second warm-up tie vs Australia in Kolkata, says his boys are determined to get their hands on the World T20 title again, this time in front of their favourite fans. However, he says it would be futile to think that winning this tournament will change the way the game is governed back home.
Q. The last time West Indies won the World T20, you guys danced to Gangnam Style. This time, the 'Champion' track from new album seems to be the new flavour, right?
A. Absolutely! We're all prepared. Champion has been well received and loved by fans all over the world. When I'm fielding at the boundary line, I hear and see fans singing and dancing to the tunes of 'Champion'. I hope to join them all in doing it at the final.
Q. The track features the names of some of your teammates. What was the idea behind that?
A. They are all champions in their own right. They have all done great things, so it was only right to mention my past and present teammates.
Q. Is there extra motivation to win the World T20 as it could possibly be the last ICC tournament for many of the senior players in the squad?
A. I think whenever we play, we play with the same determination, to win each time, but the fact that this could be the last for many people is a factor, surely. It is also special that possibly the last ICC tournament for some players is in India, because many of us play here during Indian Premier League and I've always said that the best fans are Indian fans. So, if it is the last World Cup, it really is the best place to play.
Q. Why do you think fans have a special connect with West Indies?
A. Our fans are our main motivators, so we really try to put on a show when we go out there and do what we love on the field. When we are happy, they celebrate with us and when we are disappointed, they feel it too, because we feel it for them.
Q. Although you were busy promoting your album before the World T20, you haven't let that affect your performance on the field. How did you manage that?
A. I'm lucky enough to explore another passion of mine — music — but cricket is where my heart is and my focus is always there. I work on my skills in the nets and challenge myself by bowling to (Darren) Sammy and (Andre) Russell to prepare for games. I always make sure my cricket is where it should be and everything else comes after that. If one has to sit for an exam, one would study and prepare as much as one possibly could. Cricket and music are no different to me.
Q. If you win this tournament will it be a message to your administrators to try and change the way cricket is run back home?
A. Well, I don't think a win would change the way cricket is administrated back home, so there will be no improvement. But it will make a difference to the fans and to the region. We have no real support from the West Indies board, but we do have the support of our fans and we play for them, so a victory would be for them. We are the third best team in the world and we intend to be No 1.