Brathwaite wants winning attitude
The Sagicor HPC captain hailed the month-long tour of Bangladesh, which will feature a pair of four-day matches, as well as three One-day and two Twenty20 matches between September 16 and October 5.
“This is a developmental team and the prime objective of the tour is to show improvement,” said Brathwaite prior to the team’s departure on Monday.
“But we are also looking to win because this is also part of development and we want to develop a winning attitude.”
He added: “Physically, there have been a lot of improvements from the players. We have really improved in our fitness and our mental game. Skill-wise, it has also been an eye opener because we have learnt quite a few new techniques, both individually and as a team.
“Basi cally, there has been an all-round improvement in most of the guys, so it has been a fulfilling three months so far, and we are looking to crown it with a successful trip to Bangladesh.”
The Sagicor HPC squad has been encamped since June 1 this year at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies here.
Brathwaite hailed the impact of new Sagicor HPC coach Graeme West and noted that he has brought a lot of new ideas.
“What I specifically appreciate about his style of coaching is that he allows you to keep a lot of your individuality,” said Brathwaite.
“There are a few things that some of the players need to change, but everyone has been allowed to keep their own style, and way of playing the game.”
The Sagicor HPC programme was broadened to focus more intensely on developing the mental prowess of the players, in addition to the standard rigorous training in skills development and fitness required for high performance athletes.
The players are also benefitting from specialised training in a number of other areas including their roles as ambassadors, personal development, anti-doping, anti-corruption and media skills among other areas.
Brathwaite said the Sagicor HPC programme had exceeded the expectations of all the players.
“We heard from the first group that the fitness regime was rough, and for the first month or two, we discovered this to be true,” he said.
“But everything that they said they were going to do, they have been able to accomplish, so I have to thank the West Indies Cricket Board, on behalf of the players, for giving us this opportunity to take our game further.”
The 6ft, 5in tall Brathwaite will be returning to Bangladesh, where he made his senior international debut for West Indies last October before he was sidelined with an injury.
The 24-year-old all-rounder said the Sagicor HPC experience fit right into his plan to regain his place on the West Indies team, but he was more focussed on the next month, hoping to be a leading example for the side.
“Lead ing this team is a very important step for me,” he said. “In addition to batting, bowling, and fielding, I guess you can have a fourth dimension to the game – being a leader.
“A team needs 11 leaders, but one captain, so I am hoping that I can do my team and West Indies cricket justice by leading the Sagicor HPC team to victory on the tour.”
The 2012-2013 Sagicor HPC programme will conclude next May.
This is the second squad of players at the Sagicor HPC since its inauguration two years ago.
The first squad of players that included current West Indies opener Kieran Powell, fast bowler Shannon Gabriel and current West Indies Under-19 captain Kraigg Brathwaite successfully completed the programme under the direction of current West Indies assistant coach Toby Radford.