Carlos Brathwaite is a West Indies all-rounder cricketer from Barbados who took over as captain of the West Indies Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) team in 2016. He competes in Test cricket, One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals for the West Indies. In the last over of the 2016 World T20 final against England, Brathwaite became the first West Indies player to hit four consecutive sixes in a T20I match.
I always wanted to be a pro cricketer, but I also wanted to be an entrepreneur. I think I was 19 when I came to a crossroads — should I carry on with university and pick up cricket later, or should I devote a few years to the game? I decided I would see how playing went, knowing I could get a degree at a later stage if necessary. So that was very important, and thankfully my career has turned out well.
The World T20 final changed my life. I don’t even know how to explain how I actually hit those sixes, but it was an amazing feeling. It was just one of those fairytales that you actually get to live out; it was a dream come true to win a World Cup and what a way to win it! To be part of an epic final and then hitting four sixes in the way that I did, it was something I had never dreamed about. I was speechless.
I was brought up in a Christian home; my mum is a very devout Christian and I always went to Sunday school. It was all around me, to be fair; going to church and Sunday school would always be very much apart of the day. So from a young age I was introduced to Christianity and I grew with it for myself. I fell off the wagon at times but it is ingrained in me and my faith is part of my foundation.
I see my ability as a gift from God. My dad tells the story of me being 2 or 3 years old and playing drives in the backyard. I work very hard and I think sometimes people take gifts from God and expect that you don’t have to do anything with them; they just mature and you get better. But there is a lot of hard work to be done.
It’s like the man in the Bible who was given talents and doubled them, compared with the man who got his talent and buried it. So while this is a gift from God and I appreciate it, there is also still a lot of hard work to be done to eventually mature it and reap success.
God is teaching me humility right now. I have been so fortunate to share an Indian Premier League dressing room with Imran Tahir, J.P. Duminy and Rahul Dravid — guys who are so humble. They have achieved so much in cricket and when fans come up to them in cricket-mad India, hounding them for pictures, they are so polite in saying yes or no.
For me, to get the same praise that they are showered with is hard to accept. It’s now time for me to bring that humility back to the Caribbean and be a shining light to my peers, and show it wherever I go.
— Carlos Brathwaite, West Indies cricketeer