Darren Bravo began his international career as a carbon copy of his cousin and idol Brian Lara. Lara’s influence was apparent in everything he did in the middle: You saw it in his strokeplay, in his celebration and even in his reaction upon losing his wicket. So thoroughly did he mimic the batting legend that after 12 Tests, his average and aggregate mirrored those of the great batsman after the same number of games.
But that was a long time ago and Bravo has gone through a lot since then. He was the mainstay of the West Indies’ batting until his well-publicised quarrel with then-Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dave Cameron led to him missing more than two years of international cricket.
Many saw the treatment meted out to him by the authorities as unfair. It was the source of much discussion throughout the Caribbean too, especially since Bravo has respectable numbers in all formats of the game.
Returning to the fold in January for the series against England, he made worthy contributions, especially during the second Test in North Sound, Antigua, where his fighting 50 on an especially challenging surface was vital to the West Indies winning the game and the series.
Now 30 and about to participate in his third World Cup, Bravo will no doubt be trying to make his mark on the tournament. The long time he served outside the West Indies set-up will no doubt serve as motivation. He will want to make up for lost time and the World Cup stage is as good a stage as any for him to show his credentials as a batsman.