Birmingham Bears have signed West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite for this summer’s T20 Blast.
The 32-year-old, who played for Kent in 2018, will be making his second appearance in the Blast, having played in all of the world’s top T20 formats.
He is currently playing in the Pakistan Super League with Multan Sultans.
Brathwaite remains best known for the four final-over sixes off Ben Stokes that won West Indies the 2016 World T20 final against England in Kolkata.
“I was part of the England coaching team in 2016 when those four successive sixes changed the World Cup final, so I’m well aware of his capabilities,” said Bears director of cricket Paul Farbrace.
“I’m just glad that we’ll have the benefits of his qualities now that he’s signed for the Bears.
“Carlos is an outstanding addition to our team. He’s a game changer who will add vital firepower to our middle order, but his variation with the ball gives us another strong seam bowling option.”
Brathwaite maintains a long-standing cricketing connection between Edgbaston and the Caribbean, going back to the great days of Rohan Kanhai, Alvin Kallicharran, Lance Gibbs and Deryck Murray in the 1960s and 70s, and then Brian Lara in the 1990s.
“I’ve heard a lot about the atmosphere and the big T20 crowds that come to Edgbaston to watch the Bears,” said Brathwaite.
“I know that the team went very close to reaching the quarter-finals last year, but we’ve got a lot of young talent in and I’m hoping we can push on further. Getting to Finals Day at our home ground would be fantastic.”
Brathwaite, who is now close to a combined 200 T20 appearances for his many former sides, made just 13 runs in his five appearances for Kent in 2018. But he did take nine wickets, including a match-winning 4-21 against Somerset at Taunton.
The Bears enjoyed their only T20 Blast triumph the season they changed their T20 branding from Warwickshire in 2014 – but they made Finals Day in 2015 and again in 2017, when they were beaten finalists by Nottinghamshire.