No matter what else Carlos Brathwaite achieves in his career, he will forever be defined by four lusty blows in the final over of the 2016 World T20 in Kolkata. Needing 19 to win, Brathwaite dispatched England’s Ben Stokes for four successive sixes to seal West Indies’ second title. ‘Carlos Brathwaite: remember the name!’ was commentator Ian Bishop’s memorable exclamation as the final, decisive strike sailed into the Eden Gardens crowd and Brathwaite’s place in West Indies cricket folklore was secure.
Despite his heroics with the bat, when Brathwaite came into the West Indies side in 2011, it was as a bowler. A tall, right-arm seamer, Brathwaite made little impact on his first go at international cricket, picking up 1-25 from three overs in his first T20I against Bangladesh before West Indies were humbled for 61 by the same opposition on his debut for the ODI team.
Brathwaite would return to the limited overs sides in early 2015, but failed to make West Indies’ World Cup squad later that year. He was handed a Test debut during the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne before playing the final, rain-affected match of the series against Australia at Sydney and, though he once again struggled to make an impact with the ball – 1-162 from three innings – the Test series Down Under was the moment that the world first got a glimpse of Brathwaite’s prowess with the bat. A well-compiled 59 at Melbourne preceded a brutal 69 from just 71 balls at Sydney that hinted at what was to come three months later.
The aftermath of the World T20 Final meant that Brathwaite was now one of the most sought-after cricketers on the T20 circuit. He made his IPL debut in 2016 for Delhi Daredevils and has since appeared for both Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League, as well being a regular for St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League.
Alongside his playing career, Brathwaite is something of an entrepreneur. The bat he uses is manufactured by his own company, Trident Sports, based in his home country of Barbados. That night in Kolkata might well serve to be the best advertisement of the quality of his product.