Thanks, Dwayne! What an international Career

Thanks, Dwayne! What an international Career

Dwayne Bravo retires as a modern WINDIES great. More so than perhaps any other cricketer in the last 15 years, Bravo encapsulates what makes Caribbean cricket so unique, distinctive, and beloved. A flamboyant, watchable batsman and a skillful seam bowler, Dwayne has been a star since his international debut in over 14 years ago. A stellar career has seen him claim an ICC Champion Trophy title in 2004, and play an instrumental part in the iconic World T20 victory in 2016. In total, across all forms of the game, Bravo appeared 270 times for the Windies; since he debuted, only Gayle, Ramdin, and Samuels have played more matches. He retires from the international game having achieved almost everything he could have wished for.

Dwayne’s rise to iconic status in the white-ball arena may mean that his achievements in Test cricket are overlooked or unknown to younger fans, but he achieved an awful lot in the five-day format; indeed, with Test batting and bowling averages both in the thirties, he was perhaps an underrated performer in the longest form of the game. When he first came into the Test side in 2004, he injected life into a Windies team in transition, one still finding its feet post Walsh and Ambrose. As he would go on to show throughout his career, Bravo was a man for the big occasions, and he would save his best performances for those moments, and for the highest class opposition. Since he made his Test debut, no West Indian batsman has made more centuries in Australia; considering some of the talent to have appeared in the whites for the Windies in that time, that is quite a remarkable feat, and one which illustrates the ability DJ always possessed in the longest form of the game.

Whilst his domestic career has focused on the shortest form of the game, arguably his finest performances for the Windies came in ODI cricket. Indeed, there is a strong case that Dwayne Bravo is right up there with the greatest 50-over players ever from the Caribbean. Only the iconic pairing of Ambrose and Walsh have taken more wickets in ODIs than Bravo, an achievement all the more impressive when you remember that he also made 2968 runs, more than three times what Ambrose and Walsh made combined.

Dwayne Bravo stats

Indeed, his record with the bat is right up there. Only 11 men have scored more ODI runs for the Windies than DJ Bravo, and of those 11 only two (Richards and Gayle) made their runs faster than him. Without question, Bravo is amongst the finest all-rounders to play for WINDIES in ODIs.

Regardless of his strengths in the longer forms of the game, nobody would dispute that Bravo’s lasting legacy will be as a T20 icon. While he has made his name as a consistent presence in T20 leagues around the world, Bravo made plenty of crucial, legendary contributions in his national colours. No other West Indian seamer has taken more wickets in international T20 cricket than him, and only Samuel Badree stands ahead of him on the all-time wicket-takers list.

Dwayne Bravo stats

A pioneer at the domestic level, he retires as a trailblazer for the next generation of talented, charismatic Caribbean cricketers. He was never Dwayne, really. He was always DJ Bravo, in spirit. Whenever he stepped out onto the field for the Windies, he played like it was a party.

But there was serious technical subtlety behind that party demeanour. So much of his bowling has centred around those dipping slower balls, that deceive the batsmen with their unique trajectories. In IT20, 44% of Bravo’s deliveries were slower deliveries, bowling them almost as regularly as his standard pace on variation; according to CricViz, no other seamer in IT20 history (min 20 matches) has bowled more of their deliveries as slower balls. He was a pioneer, bringing skills honed on the domestic circuit to the international stage, and in doing so changing the game itself.

Dwayne Bravo ODI statistics

In that classic World T20 campaign in 2016, nobody took more wickets at the death than Bravo, his accrued knowledge from all those matches around the world coming to the fore when it mattered most for the Windies. The final of that tournament is often remembered for Marlon Samuels’ remarkable innings, alongside Carlos Brathwaite’s final over heroics, but Dwayne arguably played the crucial hand with the ball. His three wickets in England’s innings stubbed out any death overs burst, dismissing Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali in three balls. In a game which came down to such fine margins, this summed up Bravo’s contribution.

Dwayne Bravo celebrates winning the ICC 2016 World Twenty20

However, the defining image of that competition, and of Bravo’s career, is the celebration of the Windies team. Gathered on the pitch, several of the them shirtless, the whole team joined in a rendition of Bravo’s ‘Champion’ song, the unofficial anthem of the tournament, performing the dance moves from the video in one final show of team unity. In one scene, it summed up Dwayne Bravo as a cricket and as a WINDIES icon; joyous, cheeky, a touch over the top, but always fun.

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