Keep your eyes and ears out for another Brathwaite who is making a name for himself.
And like two other Brathwaites, all of whom are unrelated, he is also from Combermere School.
Over the last decade, Kraigg Brathwaite and Carlos Brathwaite gradually improved their game and have now become well known to the average cricket fan. Both have played at the highest level of international cricket. Kraigg, aged 24, is the current West Indies Test opening batsman and vice-captain, while 29-year-old fast bowling all-rounder Carlos is the West Indies Twenty20 captain.
Kraigg has also had a taste of the One-Day International (ODI) game, while Carlos has lost his place in both the Test and ODI teams.
They both had their education at Combermere, arguably one of the most visible secondary schools in the Caribbean with a rich history in cricket.
Now a current Combermerian is making his mark as a cricketer as well. His name is Shian Brathwaite, who set a new record for a schoolboy with the most runs in a season in the top Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) one-day competition, which has been in existence for 46 years.
Playing in the Super Cup (50-over) Championship for Combermere, 17-year-old Shian Brathwaite amassed 382 runs including two centuries with one not out in eight matches, at an average of 54.57.
Not only did he establish the new record as a schoolboy but he also boasted of the highest aggregate in the 2017 Tournament, the highest individual score, and to boot, was the only batsman to hit two centuries of 12 all told.
His closest rival in terms of runs was veteran left-hander Omar Phillips, the Crane Resort St. Catherine captain, who made 366 in ten innings with two not outs, at an average of 45.75.
Shian Brathwaite’s centuries were 148 not out against Massy United Insurance Wildey in the ninth series and 107 off Barbados Youth in Round 7 – both on home turf at Waterford ‘A’.
Ironically, Kraigg Brathwaite held the previous record for the most runs in a season by a schoolboy. In 2009, he made 366 from seven innings with two not outs, including one century and two half-centuries, at an average of 73.20, representing Guardian General Barbados Youth, who reached the quarter-finals before losing to ESA Field Pickwick.
And for the records, Kraigg Brathwaite holds the record for the most centuries (eight) in the Tournament. Six of them are for his club CounterPoint Wanderers and the other two for Barbados Youth.
Shian Brathwaite’s form in both white and red ball cricket this season has called for attention from all and sundry. It is, therefore, puzzling why the Barbados Under-19 team player could not find a place in a 21-member West Indies Under-19 squad named recently for a two-week training camp from December 5 to 20 in Barbados and Antigua to prepare for the 2019 ICC Youth World Cup in New Zealand, January 13 to February 3.
In the BCA Sagicor General T20 Tournament, which attracted several current West Indies players, Shian Brathwaite topped the overall averages, scoring 150 runs in three matches including one not out (ave: 75.00) for Combermere.
Then came his outstanding feat in the Super Cup.
So off to St. Kitts he went for the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Under-19 three-day and one-day Tournaments. And again he stood out with the bat.
Shian Brathwaite was Barbados’ top batsman with 359 runs including one hundred and two half-centuries, at an average of 39.89 in the three-day Championship, and was again their leading batsman in the one-day Tournament, scoring 174 runs (ave: 29.00).
His omission from the West Indies Under-19 training squad – there are three Barbadians in left-arm spinning all-rounder Joshua Bishop, all-rounder Nyeem Young and fast bowler Jarion Hoyte – prompted me to have a chat with chairman of the CWI selection panel Courtney Browne.
In politely informing me that the squad will be reduced to 15 for the World Cup, I then pressed Browne for reasons why Shian Brathwaite was not among the invitees.
“There were lots of competition for spots and unfortunately Shian missed out at this time,” Browne said.
Based on Browne’s response and in light of Brathwaite’s consistency with the bat in the BCA domestic T20 and 50-over Competitions, as well as the regional Under-19 Tournaments, I would tend to believe that the West Indies Under-19 team must be very strong in defence of the title won by Shimon Hetmyer’s side in Bangladesh two years ago.
Yet, it must be a tough blow for Shian Brathwaite not to be among the contenders. One hopes he does not become disheartened but continues to let his bat do the talking. He has cricketing blood in his uncle Sean Armstrong, a stylish former Barbados batsman.
By the way, each time I reflect on that 2009 local domestic season, I keep telling myself that it was the last time the now much maligned Barbados Youth (formerly known as Combined Schools) had a very competitive unit as reflected in those who have advanced to the West Indies team.
Apart from Kraigg Brathwaite, who had a fantastic season in both the three-day and one-day Tournaments, the team included the likes of current West Indies captain and fast bowling all-rounder Jason Holder, who was the skipper, batting all-rounder Roston Chase, wicket-keeper/batsman Shane Dowrich and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican – all of whom have played at the highest level.
Of those five, Kraigg Brathwaite, Chase, Dowrich and Warrican are all products of Combermere, while Holder is a past student of The St. Michael School.
Then add all-rounder Raymon Reifer (Ellerslie), who is currently a member of the West Indies ODI squad in England and was also in the Test squad for the preceding three-match series, along with others who have had a taste of first-class cricket since in batsmen Anthony Alleyne (Queen’s College) and Kemar Brathwaite (Graydon Sealy, formerly known as The Garrison Secondary), all-rounder Kyle Mayers (Alexandra) and wicket-keeper/batsman Mario Rampersaud (The Lodge).
In other words, ten of 26 players who represented Barbados Youth that season in the major BCA domestic three-day Competition (rebranded as Elite division from 2012) have played first-class cricket including five who have reached the very highest level. Tremendous!
As a matter of fact, for the records, that season marked the first year of the BCA promotion/relegation system in what was a 16-team Championship. Barbados Youth were highly competitive and finished joint fifth with Spartan on 120 points. UWI were champions with 146 points.
It is a far different cry nowadays as far as Barbados Youth are concerned.
The steady decline of Barbados Youth, especially since Foundation and Combermere gained promotion from the Intermediate to the First division in successive seasons starting in 2014 and both insisted on having their players represent their schools instead of Barbados Youth, is understandably a major worry for some observers. But that is another story for another time.
Apart from his feat in the Super Cup Tournament in 2009, Kraigg Brathwaite had a wonderful season in the three-day Championship.
As a 16-year-old, he amassed 910 runs (ave: 70.00) in 11 matches including a career-best, unbeaten 222 against LIME (now Gladiola) in the 10th round at the Lester Vaughan ground, Cane Garden.
Kraigg Brathwaite had earlier cracked back-to-back centuries off two of the island’s most renowned clubs, Empire and Spartan. He scored 154 at Bank Hall (Round 3) and 133 at Cane Garden (Round 4).
For the moment, however, just take note of the name Shian Brathwaite.
Keith Holder is a veteran, award-winning freelance sports journalist, who has been covering local, regional and international cricket since 1980 as a writer and commentator. He has compiled statistics on the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Division 1 (now Elite) championship for over three-and-a-half decades and is responsible for editing the BCA website (www.bcacricket.org). Holder is also the host of the cricket Talk Show, Mid Wicket, on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation 100.7 FM on Tuesday nights. Email: email@example.com