The story behind Windies pacer Sheldon Cottrell’s salute celebration

The story behind Windies pacer Sheldon Cottrell’s salute celebration

According to Cottrell, Cricket is not life and death.

Sheldon Cottrell.
Sheldon Cottrell. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Sheldon Cottrell, the Windies fast bowler, is a whole-hearted trier on the cricket field. He steams in throughout and his intensity never drops. He has a deceptive slower delivery in his repertoire and he also possesses a vicious bouncer that’s good enough to rattle any batsman in the world. The southpaw is currently playing the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales and has done exceptionally thus far.

Apart from his stupendous bowling prowess, the Jamaican also has a pretty classic celebration in his armoury that he churns out after he creeps a batter with pace. The Windies cricketers are known for their unique style of celebrations and Cottrell is no different. In the game versus Australia at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, the pacer pinned Glenn Maxwell with a sharp bouncer.

Thereafter, a smile weaved across his face and he did a parade to give a grand salute. Then he arched back to finish his celebration. The reason behind the celebration is that he works for the Jamaican Defence Force (JDF). Back in May 2010, he had to fight in the deadly Tivoli Incursion (Kingston unrest in 2010) that turned a portion of Kingstone in a war zone. Cottrell was a 21-year-old then and he lost a couple of colleagues.

I prefer balls to bullets any day, says Cottrell

The fight saw the Jamaican police and military combined to prevent the Shower Posse drug cartel in their quest to find drug lord Christopher Dudu Coke and it wasn’t an easy mission by any means. In 2010, he got his first call-up to the Jamaica team. However, the Tivoli affair delayed his first-class debut and it happened against Guyana at St Elizabeth on February 2011.

“I prefer balls to bullets any day. Cricket is not life and death. There is a certain intensity in both situations and you have to think on your feet, but bowling yorkers is far easier than being fired and shot at,” Cottrell was quoted as saying in Indian Express after his dream of playing cricket came true.

In June 2011, when India toured the West Indies for a tour after their World Cup triumph, Cottrell made Rahul Dravid duck with his express pace. That came a day after Cottrell was decked in army camouflage for his duty as army personnel to guard the square during the final one-dayer of the tour.