Windies T20 captain calls for patience over Russell injuries

By August 02, 2019
Andre Russell Andre Russell

West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite has come to the defence of injured teammate Andre Russell, who he believes has come in for some harsh press after a number of injuries have impacted his international output.

After feeling discomfort during the Global T20 Canada, Andre Russell asked to be excused from duty for the West Indies in the first T20 internationals against India in the Caribbean.

During a pre-match press conference, Brathwaite, made it clear where he stood on the issue.

Brathwaite tackled those who thought Russell did a disservice to the West Indies’ World Cup hopes, saying:

"And speaking for myself as captain of the T20 team and speaking for myself as Andre's friend, whenever we speak about playing for West Indies, that's always his main goal. And we've seen in the World Cup -whether he was 100% or not, it's debatable - but the fact that he wanted to be at the World Cup, wanted to pull on the shirt and wanted to perform for the people in the West Indies and his mates in the dressing room, I think, is testament to the person he is. And I think we need to start commending the fact that he actually tries to get on the park and stop lambasting the fact that he probably doesn't stay on it till the end of the 50 overs or the 20 overs,” said Brathwaite.

According to the skipper, the more important part of the equation, is Russell’s willingness to play for the West Indies.

"I think he's been knocked in the press a bit because of his injury woes. And I think it's easy for us to see him hobbling around the field and just take for granted that he's injured but we can also look at it on the other side and say he can be home, he could be elsewhere and not trying to play for the West Indies.

Russell, Brathwaite revealed, would have played in these T20s if prodded to do so, despite his less-than-100 per cent fitness status.

"Even against my better judgment, I told him to sit out this series, but he really wanted to play, he really wanted to come and show off his skills and show off what he does in franchise cricket for the West Indies. Unfortunately, he took another knock and he doesn't think that if he comes here that he'd be doing justice to other people who could be here and are 100%. Obviously, he's a big loss, not only on the field but off the field. In the dressing room, in and around the team, he's a big character, very jovial and in my eyes, a leader in the dressing room as well,” said Brathwaite.

The skipper then asked that the press look at the bigger picture, because there were other tournaments the West Indies have an eye on doing well at, tournaments Russell will be important to.

“ … Obviously, if we need to get him ready for the Twenty20 World Cup, we have to do without him for a couple of series, I prefer that than pushing him in this series and making a long term injury.”

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: CSA not planning Proteas pay cuts, but future salaries may be impacted Coronavirus: CSA not planning Proteas pay cuts, but future salaries may be impacted

    Cricket South Africa (CSA) is not planning to implement pay cuts for Proteas players during the coronavirus pandemic, though future salaries could be affected.

    The Proteas' tour of India in March was cut short due to the proliferation of COVID-19 and all forms of cricket in South Africa were cancelled for 60 days on March 16.

    Australia's visit to face the women's team was called off, while trips for the men to Sri Lanka in June and the West Indies in July could be in jeopardy if the situation has not improved six weeks prior to the start of those respective tours.

    However, CSA chief executive Jacques Faul does not anticipate the salaries of players to be impacted in the short term, though the pot for future payments may have to be reduced.

    "For now we've budgeted for the amount. It's a centralised system so both the Proteas and the franchise players have been budgeted for and we have enough to see through the next season," said Faul during a conference call.

    "The players will lose out on match fees and win bonuses. If these tours are rescheduled they'll get the money. In the long term even if we cover this season we have to look at what it's going to be post this season and the financial impact of that and how much will be available to contract players.

    "We've got to crunch the numbers first and experience the total effect of COVID-19, but it is a possibility the players will be receiving less of a player payment pool.

    "I cannot see anyone for now getting less money than they're contracted for, but in future the allocation going to players I can see that being less."

    Graeme Smith signed a three-month contract as director of cricket in December and Faul stated clarity on the former captain's tenure will be provided next week.

    "We're in final negotiations with Graeme there will be an announcement next week," he said.

    "We're at an advanced stage of the negotiations and hopefully we can make an announcement next week."

  • Coronavirus: Aussie captain Paine robbed after setting up home gym Coronavirus: Aussie captain Paine robbed after setting up home gym

    Tim Paine said his car was broken into after the Australia Test captain set up a home gym amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    COVID-19 has brought sport to a standstill, with cricket on hiatus due to the global health emergency, which has claimed more than 37,800 lives.

    Attempting to stay fit amid the shutdown, Paine relocated his car onto the street and transformed his garage into a home gym in Hobart, where the wicketkeeper was robbed.

    "I woke up this morning to a message from NAB saying I had some interesting movements on my account," Paine told reporters on Tuesday.

    "I went out and the [car] door was open and my wallet and a few other things had gone.

    "Actually looking at my account, the boys went straight to Maccas [McDonalds] – the boys must have been hungry."

    "Since that went on radio, I've had a message from [sponsor] Kookaburra and they're going to send me some balls on a string that I can hook up in the garage and start training," added Paine.

    While happy at home, Paine said: "Steve Smith, David Warner – guys like that, they're high energy, they love to train so this would be a real eye opener for them.

    "I think [Smith] is doing a 10km run every day so hopefully he doesn't come back as a skeleton. But him and Marnus [Labuschagne] and Davey are probably the three I worry about.

    "They don't like sitting still, and Steve and Marnus don't like not batting for too long. And Davey – he literally can't sit still.

    "Davey has got a home gym so he will be in there literally 24/7 and Steve and Marnus would have some kind of contraption where they're hitting balls, or they've got their wives are feeding them balls because there's no way those two are going a week without batting."

    Paine also conceded June's two-Test tour of Bangladesh is unlikely to go ahead as scheduled due to coronavirus.

    The first Test is set to start on June 11 and Paine said: "You don't have to be Einstein to realise it is probably unlikely to go ahead, particularly in June. Whether it's cancelled or pushed back, we're not quite sure at the moment."

  • Coronavirus: IPL owners have discussed staging games behind closed doors Coronavirus: IPL owners have discussed staging games behind closed doors

    The owners of Indian Premier League franchises have discussed the possibility of staging games behind closed doors this year, according to Manoj Badale.

    The 13th edition of the world's premier Twenty20 competition was due to begin this week, but it was postponed until April 15 at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Badale, one of the co-owners of Rajasthan Royals, revealed one of the mooted options has been contesting fixtures without fans present, which he feels may be a necessary evil.

    "Both conversations between the owners and the BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India], that's already been discussed," Badale told BBC 5 live.

    "As with the English Premier League, the atmosphere is a huge part of the spectacle, but, again, these are unprecedented times and sport needs to be put in the right perspective overall.

    "If the way of ensuring the cricket economy survives is by playing behind closed doors, so be it."

    There have been only 1,251 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India, fewer than Luxembourg.

    So, while staging the IPL in the coming weeks would seem unfathomable to many in Europe, Badale said there is still a belief the tournament could be held in two months' time.

    "In India the COVID phenomenon has only really just landed so when we have our owners' conference calls, there's still an expectation that there may be a way of the games being played in June," he added.

    "Personally I can't see it happening until much later in the year."

    That would have an impact on an already congested cricket calendar, especially as the T20 World Cup is due to start in October.

    Yet Badale emphasised the financial value of the IPL to the sport.

    "Fundamentally, to the cricket economy - not just to the Indian cricket economy, but to the global cricket economy - the IPL is incredibly important," he said.

    "Not just what it means for players, but what it means for the supply chain that a $600m-a-year tournament creates."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.