It might not be long before one sees cricketers exchanging jerseys after the match like footballers. The franchise leagues around the world are making cricket transcend borders and cricketers knit into a global family. West Indies' animated celebrations after beating Australia could have meant players turning the other way if they came face to face at the hotel corridor.
But West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who plays the Big Bash in Australia for the Sydney Sixers, the Indian Premier League for the Chennai Super Kings, the Bangladesh Premier League for Chittagong Kings and also in the Caribbean Premier League, says it doesn't mean much.
"We are all professional cricketers," he said after training at the Sher-e Bangla National stadium on Sunday. "They (Australia) want to win and they will do whatever it takes to try and get a win. Sometimes, we use it for motivation and some other teams retaliate. We are not a side that retaliates. We try and prepare well and be expressive on the cricket field," he said about the verbal banter in the build-up to the game and West Indies' retaliation after the win.
"At the hotel, we see each other, meet each other and have a quick chat. We may not be the best of friends or go out for dinner. But we play together for the Big Bash and the IPL and some of them come and play in the Caribbean Premier League too. This morning, I was having a chat with (Brad) Haddin, (Aaron) Finch and (David) Warner about the Big Bash. Speaking for myself, we are all good friends off the cricket field. With all these leagues in the world, you end up developing a better relationship. Look at the India-West Indies games, the relationship is like one love and it's like one country playing. Thanks to IPL, it allows that. It's a good thing for international cricketers. Apart from money, it also brings you closer to another cricketer from another country and you become friends," said Bravo, who along with skipper Darren Sammy helped West Indies chase down 179 against Australia.
The franchise leagues' other contribution, Bravo thinks, is the fact that no asking rate seems impossible anymore.
"A situation like 21 balls to go and 53 to get is actually achievable because of the experience we have got in the IPL. Sammy's IPL experience also came into play and he can withstand pressure. We know their bowlers will also be under pressure because one side of the ground was very short. And in those kinds of scenarios, we expected the bowler to make mistakes as we had a lot of wickets in hand. Sammy is one of the cleanest hitters in the game today," Bravo said.