Braithwaite coming to terms with senior cricket

 

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Kraigg Brathwaite admits that he’s now coming to terms with the challenges of the first-class game, despite his overwhelming success at the junior level.

The 18-year-old Barbados batting prospect gathered his second first-class hundred of 102 not out to earn the visitors a draw, after they conceded first innings points to Trinidad & Tobago in their first round match, which ended on Monday at Guaracara Park.

He has scored almost 50 hundreds at various junior levels in the game, and has been identified as a player for the future, but he recognised the enormity of the challenge at the senior level.

“It’s quite a big step,” he told the Nation newspaper. “The bowlers are more consistent. It is four days, not three. You have to be fitter and stronger, mentally and physically.”

He added: “At the senior level, you have to assess the situation more, and you have to be tougher.”

This was Brathwaite’s maiden regional first-class hundred for Barbados. It follows his maiden career first-class hundred of 130 for West Indies-A against Pakistan-A last November in St. Vincent.

“This means a lot,” he said. “I want to thank God for giving me the strength and guidance out there. I’m very happy. It is a pleasure to get a hundred for my country.

“Words can’t explain how I feel. It is very exciting. This hundred was more special. It was for Barbados. I know that I have made people back home proud. It is for my country.”

Fortune smiled on Brathwaite, since a few minutes after reaching his milestone, the rain came and wiped out the remainder of the day’s play.

“It was the fourth day,” he said. “I knew it was going to be hard. In the first over from the pacer, the ball was keeping low. I had to watch it.

“We decided to play as straight as possible. The pitch wasn’t doing anything I didn’t expect. Even from the first day, balls were keeping low. You know you had to come forward.”

Brathwaite will be put further to the test, when Barbados meet England Lions in the second round, starting on Friday at Kensington Oval here.