LONDON – Gloucestershire have signed West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite for their upcoming English County Championship campaign, hailing his arrival as a “massive boost” for the club.
The 28-year-old right-hander, currently leading West Indies in the final Test against Sri Lanka in Antigua, will leave for the United Kingdom at the conclusion of the game and is expected to be available for the opening eight matches.
Brathwaite, who has in the past featured in the County Championship for Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Glamorgan, said he would be embracing the new experience in a country where he already enjoyed playing.
“I truly look forward to the opportunity to represent Gloucestershire. I have always enjoyed county cricket and cherished the times I’ve been able to play in England,” said the Barbadian opening batsman.
“I’m excited to come to Bristol and do my best for the team, the club and of course the Gloucestershire supporters.”
During the ongoing Test against Sri Lanka, Brathwaite became the 16th West Indies batsman to pass 4 000 Test runs in his 68th match, and also notched his ninth Test century.
He followed up with another half-century in the second innings to extend his rich form.
Brathwaite was elevated to the full time Test captaincy ahead of the Sri Lanka series after having led West Indies to a 2-0 whitewash of Bangladesh last February when many of the leading players, including then captain Jason Holder, opted out of the tour due to COVID-19 fears.
Interim head coach, Ian Harvey, said a player of Brathwaite’s experience and quality would be “extremely beneficial” to the south-west England outfit.
“To be able to bring somebody in who has played the number of Tests Kraigg has, and now as captain, is going to be a massive boost for the guys in the dressing room,” Harvey said.
“He will obviously add quality to the team now but also moving forward as a group, his presence here will be extremely beneficial for us.
“Kraigg has been on our radar for some time now. The way he goes about playing the game really impresses a lot of people at the club and it’s fantastic that we’ve been able to bring him in for the early part of the County Championship.
“He opens the batting for his country so it would be hard to look past an opening partnership of Brathwaite and (Chris) Dent but we do have a lot of quality players that will fit well around him.”
Gloucestershire host Surrey at Bristol in their opening game next Thursday. (CMC)