Like the fabled legend Heracles, Carlos Brathwaite dutifully completed the impossible labour of lifting a seemingly down and out West Indies to an unlikely triumph over England at the 2016 T20 World Cup final.

In its aftermath, much like the mythical Greek hero, he would soon after, however, happened upon a poisoned cloak of his own, unrealistic, heavy expectations, which have so far proven to be his undoing. 

Needing 19 off the last over and the ball in the hands of a capable Ben Stokes, few would have picked the Windies to be triumphant.

Four straight sixes later, however, the shrill blast of commentator Ian Bishop sang, ‘remember the name!’ after the muscle-bound Brathwaite brutally battered Stokes, announcing a new West Indies star had been born.  Gleefully looking on, fans secretly hoped perhaps the player was from the same mould as legends like Viv Richards or Chris Gayle.

 Of course, Brathwaite’s trajectory never hit such heights, the fateful T20 World Cup represented unprecedented heights, and his descent seemed just as rapid as his rise.  Perhaps he just hit the sky too fast too soon.

Less than two years later ‘remember the name!’ became a term of derision, not inspiration, uttered whenever the behemoth wafted powerfully but failed to connect or managed to move the ball just feet after a blustery swing.

The man, who had delivered a victory for the West Indies, the hero of the 2016 battle at Wankhede, went from being captain to being left out of the squad entirely.  He went from being a well-sought-after T20 name in most major leagues to reserve spots or replacement selection.

Ironically, Stokes, who the big West Indian had left deflated on his haunches, went on to be one of the world’s best players and is likely to be at the next World Cup, while Brathwaite is almost certainly guaranteed to not be.  In fact, his failure on the biggest of stages, in the end, seemed to serve as a benefit as the Englishman rebounded from his lowest point to great heights. 

For Brathwaite, it was the opposite. With only eight T20 matches under his belt, he was named the West Indies captain later that year.  In the IPL, he went from a modest US$30, 000 base price to being signed for US$626,000 by the Delhi Daredevils.  It was a whirlwind couple of months for the player, who was expected to now dispatch bowlers every time he went out to bat while at the same time ensuring the Windies lived up to their billing as world champions.  Neither happened.  Brathwaite was also added to the ODI squad and went on to play seven and was called to the CPL and played a Test against India in Antigua.

The rest, as they say, is unfortunately history. In the end, it seems the weight of the expectations proved too much for the player. Brathwaite had been pushed too far, too high too soon. 

When we saw him at his best, the moment for which he will forever be immortalized, very little is anything was expected of him and he was free to swing for the fences.  Who knows what he might have become had he like Stokes failed to deliver on the big occasion?

Out-of-favour T20 all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has recalled one of his favourite memories was being treated like Chris Gayle when he turned up for an IPL spell in India with Delhi Daredevils, shortly after his success at the 2016 World Cup.

The giant West Indian rocketed to fame after swatting away four straight sixes off England’s Ben Stokes, to lift the Caribbean team to the 2016 T20 World Cup title.  Those types of exploits were of course very much like another big West Indian's, Chris Gayle, who has often thrilled IPL crowds with his match-winning, big-hitting exploits in India.

“Cricket is a religion in India. I remember I was filming Chris (Gayle) being mobbed at the airport. But after the World Cup when I came to play for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), the same thing was happening to me,” the 31-year old said in a recent Delhi radio show.

Brathwaite has not quite followed up on the promise of those big heaves over the boundary, in recent years, losing both the captaincy of the West Indies and dropped from the squad.  He was also not selected during the 2020 IPL auctions held late last year, but still hopes to play some part in the tournament.

“Hopefully I will be in IPL in some capacity maybe replacement player or in commentary,” he added.

Due to ongoing global fight with the COVID-19 pandemic the tournament was, however, postponed until further notice.

 

It is April 3, 2016. Carlos Brathwaite is on strike and there is one over to go in the ICC World Twenty20 final in Calcutta.

West Indies require 19 runs to win a see-saw final that has ebbed and flowed like the nearby Hooghly River. Having recovered from a shocking start, England have a first limited-overs international trophy seemingly within touching distance.

They battled back from 23-3 to post 155-9. Having top-scored with 54, Joe Root claimed two of three early wicket to fall in West Indies' reply with his occasional off-spin.

Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo put on a 73 for the fourth wicket, yet when Andre Russell and Darren Sammy both fell to David Willey in the space of three deliveries, England were the team in charge.

After Chris Jordan managed to deny the well-set Samuels from claiming the strike at the end of the penultimate over, Ben Stokes was tasked with seeing the job through.

His previous two overs in the game had gone for eight and nine runs respectively – combine those two together and it would still be enough for Eoin Morgan’s side to be crowned champions.

Brathwaite, however, has other ideas…

 

BALL ONE: WHAT A START!

When you need so many off so few, an early maximum quickly heaps the pressure back on the bowler. 

Stokes appears to aim for a yorker but only serves up a half-volley instead, one he's shoved down leg so far that Brathwaite simply has to help the ball on its way, depositing it over the boundary at backward square leg with a flick of the wrists.

A gift. An absolute gift. Stokes should have sent it down with a bow on. West Indies now need just 13 from five.

BALL TWO: IT'S UP, UP, UP AND OUTTA HERE!

Straighter – but still in the slot from Stokes. Brathwaite manoeuvres his front foot out of the way to clear space for the bat to come through and send this one much straighter down the ground – and several metres back into a now delirious crowd inside Eden Gardens.

Stokes pulls a face in response to suggest he either feels he was not too far off target or he's just eaten something that's way too hot. Either way, he's hurting. The once-taxing equation is now down to a seriously manageable sum of seven from off four. 

Can England somehow claw this back?

BALL THREE: GOING, GOING, GONE!

No. Braithwaite does it again as the noise levels inside the ground rise even higher.

It's a similar stroke to the last maximum, only this time the right-hander manages to send his home run over long off. There is a brief moment after it departs the bat that you wonder if it is going to clear the fielder, like a golfer who initially fears he's taken the wrong club and could end up in the water. In the end, though, the man in the deep just watches it sail over him.

West Indies require just one to win and the rest of the squad are now off their feet out of the dugout and ready to start celebrating. 

BALL FOUR: WEST INDIES WIN! WEST INDIES WIN!

Forget knocking it into a gap to pinch a single. Brathwaite winds up again as he gets another ball on his pads, allowing him to finish the job in style.

As it sails into the sky to such an extent towards mid wicket that air traffic control may need to get involved to help find a landing spot, the hero of the over stretches out his arms as team-mates rush out to the middle. What initially seemed a seriously tough challenge completed with room to spare.

"Carlos Brathwaite ​– remember the name!" Ian Bishop booms on commentary. Few who have witnessed it – whether live at the ground or on television – will forget it, least of all poor Stokes.

West Indies complete one of the most stunning heists in limited-overs cricket to be crowned T20 champions for a second time.

Ben Stokes must have endured nightmares over this day four years ago, when Carlos Brathwaite smashed West Indies to T20 World Cup glory in such dramatic fashion.

Gregg Popovich also has bad memories of April 3, having been ejected only 63 seconds into the San Antonio Spurs' NBA clash with the Denver Nuggets last year.

Lionel Messi scored two penalties when Barcelona beat Milan to reach the Champions League semi-finals on this day back in 2012.

We take a look back at April 3 in sporting history.

 

2016 - 'Remember the name' - Brathwaite goes berserk

Stokes has had plenty to celebrate in the past year, but the England all-rounder endured a horror show at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Windies all-rounder Brathwaite was the star of the show, blasting Stokes for four sixes off the first four balls of the final over to ensure his side became the first to win two World T20 titles.

Commentator and former West Indies bowler Ian Bishop belted out "remember the name" when Brathwaite sealed a stunning victory, having needed 19 off the final over.

While Stokes has gone on to better things, he will certainly not have forgotten the name of Brathwaite. 

 

2019 - Off you pop

Some spectators may not have taken their seats when Spurs coach Popovich was given his marching orders 12 months ago.

He took exception to a non-foul call and was issued a technical by official Mark Ayotte before being handed another by David Guthrie just over a minute after tip-off in an encounter with Denver.

The Nuggets went on to win 113-85 three nights after Popovich was also ejected during a loss to the Sacramento Kings.

2012 - Milestone for Messi as Milan crash out

There have been many days when Messi achieved a milestone and his half-century of Champions League goals came eight years ago to the day.

The Barcelona superstar made no mistake from the penalty spot twice as the Catalan giants beat Milan 3-1 to reach the last four.

There were no goals in the first leg at San Siro, but Messi proved to the match-winner, with Andres Iniesta netting the third. Chelsea ended Barca's run at the semi-final stage, though, winning 3-2 on aggregate.

Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Carlos Brathwaite were among seven West Indies players who went unsold during the 2020 IPL Auction in Kolkata, India on Thursday.

Sir Vivian Richards is in full support of the appointment of Kieron Pollard as white-ball captain of the West Indies, saying the veteran all-rounder brings more aggression to the role than the two men he replaced.

Pollard, who opened his account as ODI captain on Wednesday with an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Lucknow, India, has had the eye of Richards for the last five years, ever since he won the CPL with the Barbados Tridents.

"I've always admired his captaincy,” said Richards, who has been one of those to have noted a tendency towards passiveness in previous West Indies sides.

Jason Holder, the West Indies Test captain and previous ODI captain, has been criticized for not being aggressive enough on occasion and going into defensive mode too quickly.

“I've always felt that when he played the first CPL T20 at home, he was the best captain,” said Richards.

“I think Barbados Tridents went on to win it [in 2014], and he was the best captain in my opinion, more proactive than the rest of the captains we would have seen,” said Richards.

 I think he's in a good place," he said.

Richards also believes Pollard will benefit from having more talent around him than did his predecessors, Holder and Carlos Brathwaite, former captain of the T20 side.

“There's enough good players around him that can help out as well,” said Richards, referring to newcomers like Brandon King and Hayden Walsh Jr.

Pollard's first course of action as ODI captain was to marshall his troops into dismissing Bangladesh for 194 in 45.2 overs, courtesy of Jason Holder, 2-21, Romario Shepherd, 2-32, Roston Chase 2-31, Sheldon Cottrell, 1-33, and Hayden Walsh Jr, 1-33, sharing the workload. The West Indies batters then made simple work of the total, getting to 197-3 three balls into the 47th over.

Roston Chase, 94, and Shai Hope, 77, were the major contributors to the innings.

There was no room for veteran Windies opener Chris Gayle as the new Cricket West Indies selection panel named squads for all three formats for the team’s series against Afghanistan.

The 40-year-old batsman was expected to retire from the sport following this year’s World Cup but had a change of heart.  The player had also targeted the India home tour as possibly his final appearance for the regional team but insisted following the series that he had not retired.

Despite the absence of the talismanic player, however, there are several noted returnees.  As expected, having been appointed captain of the ODI and T20 teams Kieron Pollard returns to the white ball team for the first time in three years.  Pollard replaced Holder as captain of the ODI team and Carlos Brathwaite as leader of the T20 team.  While Holder has been included in all three formats, Brathwaite has been dropped from the squad. 

Fresh off successful campaigns in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Guyana Amazon Warriors opening batsman Brandon King and Barbados Tridents spinner Hayden Walsh Jr have been included in the T20 and ODI formats.  Lendl Simmons, who also put together a solid campaign for Trinbago Knightriders, has also been included in the T20 squad. 

Promising young pace bowler Alzarri Josephs, who missed the World Cup due to injury, will also return to the team for all three formats.

 

Test squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Shai Hope, John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamrah Brooks, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Sunil Ambris, Jomel Warrican, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph

ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sunil Ambris, Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph, Romario Shepherd.

T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Brandon King, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Kesrick Williams, Alzarri Joseph.

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots secured their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in dramatic style as Dominic Drakes bowled Harry Gurney with the final ball of the night to seal a thrilling one-run victory over Barbados Tridents, who now face a winner-takes-all clash with St Lucia Zouks on Sunday after a dramatic batting collapse when victory appeared in their grasp. 

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