BRISBANE, Australia (CMC):Former Australia captain, Steve Waugh, has singled out classy left-hander Darren Bravo as the next big name in world cricket and says once Chris Gayle returns to the West Indies side, Australia could have their hands full when they tour the Caribbean later this year.
Waugh, who led Australia in 57 Tests, quit international cricket eight years ago after a highly successful career that yielded 10,927 runs from 168 Tests at an average of 51.
When asked during a wide-ranging interview in the Courier-Mail who was the next superstar in world cricket, Waugh said: "Darren Bravo from the West Indies. He is identical to Brian Lara in every way. He is world cricket's next superstar, no doubt."
In the last year, the 22-year-old Bravo has emerged as one of the leading Windies batsmen, plundering three centuries in his last seven Test innings. He averages 52 from 13 Tests.
Waugh also said Gayle was important if the Windies were to challenge Australia in the upcoming three-Test series and five one-day internationals starting in March.
"The West Indies have some good emerging players and if they get Gayle and (Dwayne) Bravo back, Australia will be surprised when they go there," said the 46-year-old.
Gayle has not played for West Indies since last year's Cricket World Cup on the Indian subcontinent, with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) mandating that he apologise for controversial comments before being considered for selection again.
Waugh, who led Australia in 12 of his 20 Tests against West Indies, said batting legend Sir Vivian Richards remained one of the most fearsome players he had ever lined up against.
"He owned the ground when he walked on," Waugh said of the revered former West Indies captain.
"It was almost like he was from another planet when I played him early in my career. But I always enjoyed it. Javed Miandad was a tough competitor. Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose (too)."