‘Superstar’ Russell the new Windies Gayle, Lara claims Bravo

By Sports Desk March 29, 2020

Veteran West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo believes T20 star Andre Russell has taken up the mantle of legendary players like Chris Gayle and Brian Lara for the regional team.

The swashbuckling 31-year-old was in fine form for the Windies during their recent tour of Sri Lanka, picking up man-of-the-series honours in a 2-0 win over the home team.  In fact, with a T20 strike rate of 171.29, the signature of Russell has become one of the most coveted on contracts all over the globe.  His development has impressed the Trinidadian all-rounder, who knows a thing or two about high-quality performances himself.

“It’s the same thing I used to say about Chris Gayle, we are happy to have someone like Gayle representing us, we don’t have to come up and bowl against him in an international match. I think it’s the same with Andre Russell. Andre Russell now is our Chris Gayle, is our Brian Lara in the T20 format. He is a superstar, he’s the best player and we are happy,” Bravo told local Trinidad-based radio station I955 FM.

“He’s the best in the world and we’re happy to have him in our team.”

Russell has claimed a number of titles with various franchises, including five in eight months in 2016.  He was named in the team of the tournament at the T20 World Cup that same year.

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    Caribbean Premier League (CPL) COO Michael Hall has revealed the competition’s delight at increased interest in viewership demand, despite the scaled down nature of this season’s tournament.

    With the region and globe disrupted by the effects of the coronavirus this year’s edition of the tournament will be held in Trinidad and Tobago.  The event, which will get under way August 18, will be played in a bio secure environment and without fans, which Hall admits is a big challenge.

    “We will be no different than any other sporting event that has taken place since the pandemic.  Is it going to be the same, ‘absolutely not’,” Hall told the Mason and Guest radio program.

    The CPL has throughout the years being known for vociferous fans, which some speculate might affect the intensity level of the cricket played.

    “I don’t know how much of a factor (no spectators) that is in players performances.  I’ve always heard that the really great athletes shut out the crowd and focus, so I don’t know. But are we going to miss the fans, absolutely there are the lifeblood of the tournament,” he added.

    “We are still having the tournament though, fans or no fans.  I know for a fact based on feedback.  Based on feedback, these are things that we track, the anticipation for our global viewing audience has almost trebled.  There have been people reaching out to ask where we can watch it, saying we are dying to watch it and that is only good for the league.”

    The CPL will be the first T20 tournament played since the start of the pandemic.

     

  • Panel makes tough cuts to Ultimate XI T20 bowlers, no Badree Panel makes tough cuts to Ultimate XI T20 bowlers, no Badree

    There is no place in the final XI set of SportsMax Ultimate XI T20 bowlers for a man who, at one time or another, was the world’s foremost T20 bowler after a panel of experts had to make tough choices to reduce a shortlist of the best in the format of all time.

    A panel made up of cricket umpire Chris Taylor, former Australian cricketer and commentator Tom Moody, and regional commentator Vernon Springer, today on the SportsMax Zone, had to bring a not-so-short shortlist of 17 bowlers down to six for final discussion tomorrow where another panel will pick three for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 team.

    Samuel Badree will not be part of that discussion.

    The team is picked through a combination of voting among fans, the panel, and the SportsMax Zone’s team.

    Fans vote online, with their collective decision amounting to 35% of the vote, while the Zone team’s votes amount to 25%. The panel has the lion’s share of the percentage with their vote counting for 40%.

    Today, the panel had to decide among a group made up of Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis; Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz; Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan; Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan; West Indies’ Sunil Narine, Badree, and Dwayne Bravo; South Africa’s Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn; India’s Jasprit Bumrah; along with Australia’s Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Starc, who would remain in the discussion for a second evening.

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