West Indies and St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots star Carlos Brathwaite feels indebted to Patriots fans and wants to reward them for their passion and loyalty to the team in the forthcoming Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign.
Having completed a first year with the franchise in its debut in the tournament last season, Brathwaite is impressed by the passion displayed by the St. Kitts and Nevis crowd during the tournament last year. “The passion that the fans showed last year. We had an up and down season, and they were there throughout,” the cricketer said.
Brathwaite is hoping the Patriots can go deep in the tournament this year and reward the fans for their loyalty.
“They stayed through the entirety of the game and they came out in their numbers… For me, it’s about coming back and repaying that passion on the field,” Brathwaite said.
The Patriots missed out on a playoff spot last year but gave some exciting displays that had some pundits picking them to progress to the playoff round. This season the team will feature West Indian power hitter Lendl Simmons who played the last three seasons with the Guyana Amazon Warriors and led them to the finals in the first season, only to lose to the Jamaica Tallawahs.
He assured that there is a lot of camaraderie in the team. “There haven’t been any animosity in the dressing room. Each time we went out there to play, we played our hearts out for the badge, but it just didn’t materialize as we would have liked last year, but it wasn’t to do with any off the field issues. We are one big family and there is a lot of love. Most of the guys hang out together, go to dinner together, celebrate together, even party together in the casino. It’s not for a lack of team spirit, it’s just that the results didn’t materialise the way we wanted,” Brathwaite said.
He believes the franchise, in its first year, did well especially considering it lost some close games. “We should make it to the playoffs, which is the first step. Once we get to the playoffs, we are three or two games from the title,” he added.
Meanwhile, Brathwaite, who struck four sixes in the last over of the ICC World T20 earlier this year to bring the title home to the West Indies, suggested the response has been overwhelming since his heroics on the world stage.
“The response has been good. I haven’t been home for too long after to enjoy it at home as much as I would want to, but St. Kitts is my second home, and I’ve been feeling a lot of love from the St. Kitts family as well. So I really, really appreciate that love and support,” he said.
Brathwaite hopes to transfer that kind of performance to the Patriots in the bid to win the title.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots play four home games at the Warner Park Cricket Stadium in Basseterre, beginning on Thursday, June 30, when the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots play the Guyana Amazon Warriors. On July 2, it’s Patriots versus Jamaica Tallawahs, then on July 3, Patriots play the St. Lucia Zouks and on July 5, it’s a home tie against the Barbados Tridents.
St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots Squad:Lendl Simmons, Faf du Plessis (captain), Samuel Badree, Carlos Brathwaite, Brad Hodge, Thisara Perera, Jonathan Carter, Krishmar Santokie, Evin Lewis, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kieran Powell, JJ Smuts, Devon Thomas, Shamarh Brooks.