Colombo, Sri Lanka – West Indies middle-order batsman Darren Bravo is eagerly looking forward to playing in his first ICC Cricket World Cup. The left-handed stroke-maker, who turned 22 last Sunday, said it has always been a dream of his to wear the Windies maroon colours in the biggest event in the cricket world.
"I want to go out and do my part and help the West Indies to have a great World Cup. The Coach has given me the backing and I have the confidence to go out and perform at that crucial position – batting at Number 3," he said.
"This tournament is going to be a big challenge for me but I am always someone who thinks of the positive. A big challenge equals a big opportunity," Bravo reasoned.
"That has been instilled in me from young and I carry that thought with me always. I am adapting to the international level. It is never easy at this level, actually it’s quite tough, but still I’m enjoying it," Bravo explained.
"I want to keep my focus and concentrate on my role in the team and my responsibility to the people of the West Indies. We are gelling really well as a unit and I have the full backing of everyone."
Bravo was speaking as the Windies switched from their three-match One-Day Series against Sri Lanka to the ICC Cricket World Cup campaign.
In his short international career Bravo has looked confident at the crease. He made his Test debut last November in Sri Lanka and scored three half-centuries in four innings. In his ODI career, he has made 13 appearances and scored 345 runs at 38.33 per innings.
In the final match against Sri Lanka last Sunday he made a stroke-filled 79, surpassing his previous career-best of 74.
The Windies Number 46 added: "I am playing well and want to keep going… to get big scores… to win matches with the bat. In the last match we lost Chris Gayle off the first ball in our innings and that was a major setback so I had to step to the crease to face the second ball. It was very important that I batted for the team. The first part was to settle the innings, then to try and build a partnership, and then try to take the team home to victory. I didn’t achieve the last part, but I am quite happy with the way I’m batting and I’m looking to take that form with me into the World Cup."
The Cricket World Cup bowls off on Saturday, February 19 with Bangladesh facing India in Dhaka. The tournament will run until Saturday, April 2 with the final in Mumbai. West Indies have been drawn in Group B alongside India, South Africa, England, Bangladesh, Ireland and the Netherlands.
SQUAD: Darren Sammy (Captain), Dwayne Bravo (Vice Captain), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Nikita Miller, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith
WORLD CUP SCHEDULE
Saturday, Feb 12: v Kenya (R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo)
Tuesday, Feb 15: v Sri Lanka (R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo)
Group stage matches
Thursday, Feb 24: v South Africa (Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi)
Monday, Feb 28: v Netherlands (Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi)
Friday, Mar 4: v Bangladesh (Shere Bangla Stadium, Dhaka)
Friday, Mar 11: v Ireland (Punjab C.A. Stadium, Mohali)
Thursday, Mar 17: v England (MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai)
Sunday, Mar 20: v India (MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai)