THE DJ is playing for Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR), but is this the last dance?
Dwayne Bravo’s transfer back to TKR for the 2023 season has reunited him with long-time friend and TKR captain Kieron Pollard.
The careers of both West Indian Twenty20 stalwarts have been intertwined for well over a decade.
Both icons put the world on notice in the 2009 Champions league T20 where the Red Force defied the odds to reach the final against New South Wales Blues.
Bravo was the top wicket-taker in the tournament while Pollard was top five in runs scored.
Fourteen years later, both players have left an indelible mark in the shortest format of the game.
The CPL upon inception in 2013 selected Pollard to lead the Barbados franchise.
Bravo took charge of the TT franchise – formerly Red Steel – from the start.
Once CPL rivals, gleefully celebrating each other’s wickets, Pollard came home to TKR in 2019.
But a finger injury to Bravo ruled him out that year’s tournament and Pollard assumed captaincy.
Bravo had led the local franchise to three CPL titles while Pollard helped Barbados Tridents (now Barbados Royals) to victory in 2014.
Since the captaincy was handed to Pollard, TKR have won one more crown, in 2020, to become the winningest CPL franchise. Jamaica Tallawahs boast three titles, Barbados Royals have two and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (led by Bravo in 2021) are off the mark.
Bravo, 39, and Pollard, 36, have played for franchises around the world and won countless titles. Both players have retired from international cricket but their competitiveness has not waned.
Both are regularly seen on social media counting and comparing their titles.
In an Instagram video posted on June 23, Bravo asked Pollard, “How much trophies you have?”
Pollard replied,”We not going through this again, brother.”
Pressed by Bravo, the TKR skipper said, “Kieron Pollard, a player for Mumbai Indians, has five IPL trophies. Do you know that feeling?”
Bravo quipped, “No, I don’t know that feeling...But I know the feeling what it is to win the most trophies ever in the history of the game. Do you know that feeling?
“I also know the feeling to win the most CPL trophies of all time? Do you know that feeling?
“So go ahead with your five IPL trophies. I also know the feeling to win two World Cup trophies.”
Longstanding TKR manager Colin Borde told Newsday on Monday that Bravo’s presence has lifted the squad. “His effervescence is contagious. What is even more contagious is his intense desire to win, so we like all teams are happy to have him with us.”
The friendly rivalry between the pair will take a temporary truce as both titans of the sport row in the same direction for six weeks at The Biggest Party in Sport.
Since Bravo left TKR in 2021 for a two-year stint with the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, TKR have been unable to replace him. Death bowling remains a problem. The spin department is well handled by Sunil Narine and Akeal Hosein.
Although in the twilight of his career, Bravo’s knowledge of the T20 game is an asset that TKR will benefit tremendously from. In 2022 Chennai Super Kings appointed Bravo as bowling coach for the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Chennai went on to win the IPL.
Borde said TKR fans will appreciate the qualities Bravo and Pollard bring to the table.
“Both are serial winners that any crowd should be appreciative of their long and very successful careers.”
Asked whether this season could be their last time together in TKR uniform, Borde replied, “Regarding the last dance, I still feel there is much more music to be played by these gentlemen. The song may be different but the magic comes in different forms.”