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BBL clubs remember the Brathwaite name

26 August 2016

Brathwaite could arrive on Australia's shores for BBL|06 // Getty

The new West Indies T20 skipper suggests he could yet be signed for BBL|06

West Indies Twenty20 captain Carlos Brathwaite says he remains in negotiations with more than one KFC Big Bash League club as the sixth edition of the tournament draws near.

The Barbadian has become one of the world's most sought-after T20 cricketers since his sensational batting during the last over of the World T20 Final against England at the Eden Gardens, when he catapulted four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes to seal the title for the Windies.

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"There are couple of Big Bash franchises who have shown interest in me," Brathwaite told during an exclusive interview in Port of Spain.

"Joining the tournament would depend on my availability, the contract and the franchise.

"It is with my agent at the moment and not much more I can say to be fair. We are just waiting to see."

While the Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Stars, Adelaide Strikers and Brisbane Heat have all filled their international slots of BBL|06, several clubs could be in contention for Brathwaite's services.

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Sydney Sixers have yet to announce any signings for the summer while Melbourne Renegades and Perth Scorchers each have one spot remaining for an overseas player.

The Sydney Thunder have yet to unveil their imports, but confirmed earlier this year both spots were filled.

The Hurricanes had previously been linked with the Brathwaite, with general manager Michael Roberts describing the 28-year-old as “the perfect Big Bash model player” earlier this year.

But Hobart have since signed England fast-bowler Stuart Broad as their second international player with Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara returning for a second season.

Brathwaite first rose to prominence when he scored 59 on his Test debut against Australia in Melbourne last summer and was subsequently snapped by the Delhi Daredevils for a whopping AU$886,100 during this year Indian Premier League’s auction, two months before his World T20 heroics.

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And while Brathwaite's T20 returns have been below par since his Eden Gardens heroics - averaging just 10.80 from his last ten innings – he remains in demand, having reportedly thrown his name in the hat for the Pakistan Super League draft this year.

Brathwaite admits the high standard of domestic cricket in Australia makes a BBL stint particularly enticing.

"I think Big Bash, IPL and CPL are the three premier T20 tournaments in the world. CPL is local to me and I have been part of the IPL," he said.

"I experienced Big Bash briefly during the tour of Australia when I went to watch couple of games. It was nice atmosphere and the standard of cricket was pretty high as well.

"It is just a matter of looking forward to it and be part of it if possible and then learn whatever I can from the players of the state teams because Australia transition very well from state cricket to international cricket.

"I myself can learn a lot from what they do at the lower level so that I can improve myself as a cricketer domestically and internationally."

Having replaced Darren Sammy as Windies T20 captain earlier this month, Brathwaite's first assignment skipper will be two T20s against India on August 27 and 28 in Florida.

It will also be West Indies’ first shot at 20-over cricket since lifting the World T20 title in India in early April.

"I wanted to lead West Indies so to be in a position to live your dream is an honour.

"It was one of my goals and dreams when I was a young boy and started to love cricket and started to think about representing the West Indies.

"The people in the West Indies nations love cricket so much so to be able to lead their team is also an honour. Now the onus is on me to continue the good work that Darren (Sammy) has started."

He's also looking forward to the chance to bring international cricket to new spectators in the United States.

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"There is no bigger market than the US and with West Indies being so close to the US I think it is a perfect opportunity for us to explore that market as well.

"There are lot of persons in the US that play cricket but probably not to the standard that they would like and it is for us to come in and show them the way and show them the standards and make cricket buzzing in the US.

"If we go there and play two T20s against India and create a very good spectacle, something that would make the average person in America want to watch this sport or at least intrigue to want to know about this sport and then eventually get involved, we can create a new market."

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While his rise up the ranks of international cricket has been a whirlwind one, Brathwaite is determined to remain humble, a lesson he's learned from sharing a dressing room with some of the game's most famous players during the IPL.

"Yes there was a change (after the World T20 final).

"To be fair I was not ready for it. I am settling to be back into it. I am learning to handle it a bit better now.

"You have help when you have the likes of Rahul Dravid, JP Duminy and Imran Tahir around, the guys who have achieved things in cricket and remained humble.

"That is one thing I would like to remember as a person when I finish this sport.

"It is just a matter of realizing what you have done, realising the achievements and then the perks and the disappointments that come with it. Cricket is a game of ups and downs."

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