West Indies allrounder Andre Russell has defended his status as a T20 gun for hire, saying he should not be denied the right to secure financial gains from the game. Russell, a member of the Sydney Thunder in the Australian Big Bash, is considered one of the more active players on the international Twenty20 circuit. The Big Bash will be his fifth domestic Twenty20 competition after tournaments in India, Bangladesh, the Caribbean and elsewhere. “As a professional, you have to think about living after cricket,” said Russell, who has played one Test, but says he is no longer available because his knees cannot withstand the rigours of the longer format. “You can’t go into a supermarket and say … I used to play for West Indies, I had 10 half-centuries, 15 hundreds, you can’t get groceries like that – you have to live. You can’t be begging on the road, you can’t live off your stats.” The Jamaican cricketer says he is hurt by media criticism of the West Indies team following their innings and 212-run defeat to Australia in the opening Test. “I see terrible comments in the papers and it hurts,” said Russell. “As a West Indian, I didn’t feel I could leave the room, because I didn’t want anyone to see me or ask me about what’s happening because I may be rude and I’m not that type of person.” West Indies play Australia in the second Test match starting on Boxing Day, and Russell, while not optimistic, is hoping for a miraculous change of fortune for the Caribbean side. “It’s a funny game. We just have to wait and see what will happen on Boxing Day. I’m not saying the West Indies can’t beat Australia, but come on, we have to face the facts,” Russell said. “These guys know how to bowl and bat on their pitches. We still didn’t have to lose so bad. Even if we go down the next game, we’ll go down fighting.” – CMC
West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels said explaining to emerging Barbados all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite the importance of keeping his composure was key to the latter pulling off his last-over heroics against England during the final of the ICC World Twenty20 earlier this week.Brathwaite hit four sixes off the first four deliveries of the 20th over to surpass the total of 155 for nine set by the English, sending West Indies fans into wild celebrations.”I told him to keep his composure,” stated Samuels when asked to relive the moments leading up to the final over.”(Ben) Stokes is not a good bowler at the death, as he tends to bowl a lot of full tosses,” Samuels said.He added: : “I was, in the meantime, at the other end, pressuring Stokes and telling him a lot of stuff so that I could get into his head and try to break his concentration.”The 27-year-old Brathwaite, who had represented the Caribbean side in two Tests, seven one-dayers, and eight Twenty20s before the tournament, ended unbeaten on 34 off just 10 balls during the dramatic end.Jamaican Samuels finished unbeaten on 85 off 66 balls to claim the Player of the Match award returned home on Tuesday.”It was overwhelming and wonderful to be in the situation where I could remind him (Brathwaite) that if he wanted to make a name for himself this is the over,” continued Samuels.Brathwaite, who made his one day and Twenty20 debut at age 22, scored a quick-fire 59 on Test debut away to Australia in Melbourne late last year.He then followed up that with a near run-a-ball 69 in the second Test in Sydney.Recognising his pugnacious talent, he was earlier this year picked up for a surprising US$620,000 by Dehli Daredevils, 14 times his original base price, during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 player auction.The IPL is scheduled to start this weekend.