West Indies allrounder Carlos Brathwaite has returned to the Birmingham Bears in the United Kingdom, as the team’s T20 overseas player and men’s team captain for the entire Vitality Blast campaign in 2022.
The Barbadian, who has helped the Bears to a first quarter-final in four years in his debut Blast season with the club, will be available for all group games and the knockout stages, should the Bears qualify for the quarter-finals and subsequently Finals Day at their home ground of Edgbaston.
Braithwaite was the leading wicket taker for the Bears in the 2021 Vitality Blast, taking 18 scalps at an average of 17.61.
He scored 183 runs with the bat, including 52 in an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 104 with Sam Hain to secure a home win over local rivals Worcestershire Rapids, and smashed 44 off 18 balls in the 18-run win over Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge.
“I’ve loved being a Bear,” said Brathwaite. “There’s a lot of talent in the dressing room and we showed last year that we can beat any team in the competition on our day.
Warwickshire’s director of cricket Paul Farbrace said the management team believes that Brathwaite taking over as T20 skipper removes some pressure from Will Rhodes as club captain.
“Will can play with a lot more freedom as a result,” he said. “Carlos gets exactly what we are trying to achieve in T20 cricket. We want to play brave and entertaining cricket, that gets the crowd excited, and there’s never a dull moment with Carlos with either bat or ball in his hand. He’s a match winner.”
Farbrace added that since joining earlier this year, the allrounder has been a great addition to the dressing room and he is popular with all of the squad.
Brathwaite has captained West Indies and the Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League.
Bears fixtures for the 2022 season are set to be released by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) later this year with all Vitality Blast group games being played between late May and early July, before Finals Day on July 16.