After his ICC Twenty20 World Cup heroics to help clinch the tournament for the West Indies, all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite received a rousing welcome by fans in Delhi yesterday.
Part of the Delhi Daredevils squad for the imminent start of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Brathwaite touched down in the capital fresh from snatching victory from England with four consecutive sixes in the last over of the final at Eden Gardens on Sunday.
Brathwaite and several other players have started to join their respective teams to get ready for the cash rich IPL. Previously unknown to most in Delhi, his showing in the final has raised expectations in a franchise hungry for success after under-performing over the past years.
Right after changing to a Delhi Daredevils shirt at his hotel, Brathwaite was greeted by a packed lobby of fans, hotel staff and team staff singing and dancing to the catchy “Champions” video that had been West Indies’ anthem of sorts during the tournament.
When Brathwaite was picked by Delhi Daredevils for BDS$1.2 million against his base price of $60 000, many eyebrows were raised. That was understandable given that it was his first auction. But now after his big hitting with the West Indies, Delhi management are happy with their purchase.
Daredevils’ captain Zaheer Khan said he hoped Brathwaite would be his usual attacking self when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders in their opening IPL match on Sunday.
“Everyone knows that IPL is all about momentum. Every guy’s contribution will be crucial. And after his performance in the World Cup final, Brathwaite is coming in with that kind of confidence. I am hopeful that he will carry forward that confidence in the IPL,” Khan said yesterday.
South African Quinton de Kock and Australia’s Nathan Coulter-Nile are among the foreign players contracted to the Delhi Daredevils franchise.