Having spent some time with Sir Garfield Sobers during the West Indies training camp, middle order batsman Darren Bravo said the legend help to put his mind at ease and even imparted some advice that the Trinidad and Tobago batsman intends to use in the three-Test series against New Zealand starting tomorrow at Sabina Park, Jamaica.
Bravo was a big winner at the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Players Association awards ceremony on Thursday night at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, taking home the Caribbean Twenty20 MVP award as well as the prestigious Cricketer of the Year award.
This came after he made a career-best 218 against New Zealand in Dunedin in December before leaving that tour for personal reasons.
Other major awards went to Stafanie Taylor (Female Cricketer of the Year); Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Test Cricketer of the Year), Dwayne Bravo (ODI Cricketer of the Year) and Sunil Narine (T20 Cricketer of the Year)
Chanderpaul also received a special award as the first West Indian to play 150 Test matches, while Chris Gayle was also honoured as he prepares for his 100th Test match.
Speaking about his time with Sobers, Bravo said: “It is something I will cherish for the rest of my life and when he left the camp to go to England, I really started missing him.
“Obviously he made my mind more at ease and that is something I am grateful for,” Bravo added.
“He singled out that I should be able to play all around the wicket because at times the opposition might block up your strong area and those same deliveries you would not be able to score through your strong area, you can probably hit through midwicket. You have to set your field for yourself rather than letting the opposition dictate your pace, so that is something I will be looking to do in this series,” he added.
Looking ahead to the upcoming series, Bravo said consistency with the bat could be the key to success.
“The bowling has been doing well over the last couple of years (but) we don’t normally bat well twice in the Test match and that is something we have to look close at. We tend to get a decent score in the first innings and falter in the second or the other way around, so that is something we need to rectify if we have to do well in this series,” he said.