Call it a million-dollar Christmas gift.
Barbados star and West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite landed another lucrative deal in the glitzy, high profile Indian Premier League when he was snapped up in Tuesday’s draft by Kolkata Knight Riders for US$694 000 (BD$1.39 million).
The 30-year-old was the subject of a bidding war between KKR and Kings XI Punjab over his all-rounder services, before KKR finally struck the right price.
For Brathwaite, it is the second time in three years he has breached the million-dollar mark in the IPL. Back in 2016, Delhi Daredevils secured his services for BD$1.25 million, following his exploits in the Twenty20 World Cup in India earlier that year, when he struck sixes from the first four balls of the last over of the final, to earn West Indies a dramatic win over England.
“What a fantastic buy. We all know what Carlos did at Eden back in 2016! Everyone remembers the name!” KKR tweeted after securing Brathwaite’s services.
KKR’s managing director, Venky Mysore, hailed Brathwaite’s acquisition as key for the franchise in the upcoming campaign.
“It’s great to get Carlos Brathwaite to the KKR set up. He’s a quality player, a terrific individual, great attitude. He will fit in nicely into the KKR setup,” Mysore said.
“More importantly, I think the multiple skills that he brings will supplement what we already have so we’re really looking forward to working with him.”
Mysore, who is also one of the principals behind Caribbean Premier League side Trinbago Knight Riders, said the Eden Gardens crowd were unlikely to forget Brathwaite’s exploits there in the T20 World Cup final.
“He’ll remember that, the Eden crowd will remember that and all the fans that saw that exciting moment,” Mysore said. “Hopefully he’ll be able to create some magic when he plays and I’m quite confident he will so I’m looking forward to that.”
At the two-time champions KKR, Brathwaite will now link up with West Indies teammates, off-spinner Sunil Narine and fast-bowling all-rounder, Andre Russell.
And Mysore believes the West Indies trio could make for a dynamic combination at the franchise in the upcoming season.
“I think the think tank has ideas about how to create certain combinations and a lot of it depends on the opposition and conditions, but that could be a very interesting proposition,” he said.
“… to have the luxury of three world class all-rounders could make a big difference .”
The contract will also offer Brathwaite a chance to revive his IPL fortunes after enduring a tough period in the cash-rich league. He managed just 83 runs and seven wickets in his debut season for Delhi and got even less opportunities the following season with just two appearances.
Last season, he turned out for Sunrisers Hyderabad but yet again had little impact, appearing in only four games.
Brathwaite was one of six West Indies players picked up in the auction on Tuesday with attacking left-handers Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran both going for US$583 000.
While Hetmyer was bought by Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, Pooran was claimed by Kings XI Punjab, which already boasts West Indies superstar Chris Gayle in their ranks.
All-rounders Sherfane Rutherford (US$277 000) and Keemo Paul ($70 000) were picked up by Delhi Capitals while fast bowler Oshane Thomas was snared by Rajasthan Royals for $157 000.
The 12th season of the IPL bowls off in March next year.