India is the literal 'karma bhumi' for all cricketers. Irrespective of their nationalities, they all find their calling in India, from playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to devising their post-retirement plans. It's no surprise when Dwayne Bravo, one of the most beloved cricketers in India, revealed his special bond with the city of Chennai. Such is his bonding with the city that Bravo wants to end his playing career there. But he knows, that's not in his "control". (More Cricket News)
The city-based IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings on November 30 revealed their four retained players ahead of the 2022 season. And the 38-year-old all-rounder failed to make the list. Meaning, his name will be up for grabs when the IPL mega auction happens in a few weeks' time.
Bravo, who spent close to a decade with CSK in two stints, has in fact hailed the team's call though, saying "MS Dhoni obviously is the face of the team. He has a lot of cricket left. Then there is Ravindra Jadeja. He is one of the best players. Ruturaj Gaikwad is the future. You look at those three, it is a must to have them.
"Then, when you look at the overseas players, myself, Faf du Plessis, Sam Curran... we all played our parts. But Moeen Ali had a big impact on CSK in the last two seasons. They all helped us win IPL in 2021," he told Outlook in an exclusive interview. So "I am very happy with the four retentions by CSK."
The Windies legend, who in October won another IPL title with CSK, making him the cricketer with the most number of T20 titles (16), believes that the franchise "will do whatever in their powers to get back. if not all, but most of the players."
"And if any player doesn't get back at CSK, then so be it. CSK is a very special franchise. I am personally very happy that I was a part of the history and legacy of the Chennai Super Kings. They will always be a special franchise for me."
When asked about the possibility of another team picking him in the mega auction, Bravo said "It's an auction. Anybody has the opportunity to pick you. You don't have a choice when it comes to that. But what I could tell you though is no other franchise will have that bond that I have with CSK. CSK will always be a part of DJ Bravo. Another franchise may pick me up, but that bond with CSK cannot be separated."
And "Yes, I would love to end there. Finish my career there. But that's not in my control. But like I said, that bond that I have with CSK and the city of Chennai will never change."
Only a few international cricketers have managed to form a special bond with Indian fans, let alone a city. Bravo is one of those lucky few.
Talking about Dhoni and his imminent retirement, Bravo rather confidently said that the former India captain "will play for a while," because everybody wants him to play and enjoy the game.
Interestingly enough, Dhoni has also all but confirmed that his last professional match would be in Chennai.
"The franchise wants him to play. Fans want him to play. IPL wants him to play. He's my brother, so I want him to play," Bravo said.
Regarded as the greatest all-rounders to have played the game, Bravo holds some of the fascinating records in cricket. But off the field, he carries an unrivalled charisma which helps him become an enduring sporting figure.
A multifaceted Bravo can connect with fans with ease. He has in fact released some hit numbers. Now, he is ready to turn entrepreneur, having already launched a clothing line, Djb47.
But Bravo the cricketer will continue to entertain fans around the world with his cricket even though he dabbles in managing his brand.
"I will continue to play around the world. I will play some leagues. I'm going to focus on my brand, my clothing range, some more music. And keep trying different things as well. But at the moment, the launch of the new range is one thing I am really excited about," Bravo said.
He also talked about the number 47, which has become synonymous with DJ.
"The number was given to me by the West Indies cricket board when I made my debut back in 2004. Back then, there was no meaning behind it. But over the years, it has become a part of me. Now when people see 47, they see and think about Bravo," he added.
Bravo, who had announced international retirement during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021, played his final game for the Windies on November 6, against Australia.
Bravo played 40 Tests, 164 ODIs and 91 T20Is for the Windies. And he was a part of the Windies sides that won the T20 World Cups in 2012 and 2016.