In Honour Of: Ian Bradshaw and Courtney Browne, the men who delivered the Champions Trophy miracle

By Ricardo Chambers September 30, 2020

 I grew up hearing about the great history of West Indies cricket. 

I was told about how we won the first two ICC World Cup tournaments in 1975 and 1979. 

I read about our shock defeat to India in the final of the 1983 tournament and saw highlights of our collapse in the semi-final of the 1996 edition against Australia.  

That history came in handy to instill a sense of pride since my first real memory of watching a series I understood was our 5-nil whitewash by South Africa in the 1998-99 Test tour.  

Certainly, when it comes to tournament play, West Indies performances ended in disappointment most of the time in my first six years of being a serious consumer of the game.  

We failed to pass the first round of the ‘99 and 2003 50 over World Cup tournaments and were often dismal in the ICC Champions Trophy events that came in between. 

So, in 2004 when we reached the final of the ICC Champions Trophy it served as my first taste of what fans of old would have experienced in the 1970s and ‘80s when we dominated the world.  

The Brian Lara-led side had beaten Bangladesh and South Africa to advance from the group stage before brushing aside Pakistan in the semi-finals.  

They faced England in the final at the Rose Bowl and after the hosts were dismissed for 217, the West Indies found themselves reeling at 147-8 in the 34th over when the last recognised batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul departed for 47. 

The Gus Logie-coached boys were still 71 runs away and surely that was too much for the remaining batsmen.  

However, in truly one of the most spectacular endings to any tournament, Ian Bradshaw the left-arm medium-pacer and his Barbadian compatriot Courtney Browne would save the day. 

With the number of deliveries not an issue, the two batted smartly and as they got their eyes in, ironically in fading light, they unleashed some glorious shots. 

As the two dug in, despair turned to hope, and hope morphed into belief. 

And,  belief for the people of the Caribbean turned to shock for the home team, their fans, and many of the commentators.  

This was a fightback uncharacteristic of a modern-day West Indies and Browne and Bradshaw were doing it on one of the sport’s biggest stages. 

I will never forget that square drive from Bradshaw that sealed victory as he knelt with emphatic pumps of his fist. 

I vividly remember Bradshaw and Browne diving to the ground in celebration as the rest of the team covered them in glory. 

The partnership of 71, was at the time the highest for the 9th wicket by a Windies pair. 

Browne scored 35 from 55 balls and Bradshaw contributed 34 from 51 to complete the miracle. 

There are many across the Caribbean, especially in islands like Grenada and Jamaica, who might not have seen that game live as those islands tried to recover from Hurricane Ivan, which pelted them just two weeks earlier. 

But as the triumph swirled around the region, it served as a fitting reminder that people of the region could achieve great things even in the face of adversity, even in the face of defeat. 

Bradshaw and Browne proved that on September 25, 2004, and for that we honor them and say thank you for that glorious victory and moment of hope.    

   

 

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