Former West Indies coach Stuart Law has explained Sheldon Cottrell's salute celebration is a mark of respect to his commanding officer in the Jamaican army.

Cottrell twice showed off his trademark move early in the Windies' Cricket World Cup clash with Australia on Thursday, snaring the crucial wicket of David Warner (3) and then removing Glenn Maxwell.

The celebration is a hit with supporters and Cottrell was filmed teaching it to some young supporters at Trent Bridge this week.

Law has revealed the deeper meaning behind the salute for the Windies star, a member of the Jamaican Defence Force.

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"He has to ask permission from his commanding officer to come and play for the West Indies," Law told the BBC's Test Match Special .

"He's an active member of the Jamaican army, so he has to get permission to come and represent the West Indies. It's just a mark of respect to his big boss.

"He's not doing it to upset anyone. It's just a mark of respect to the people back home, but it's become quite legendary now around the world."

Cottrell had figures of 2-11 from his first four overs against Australia, who were reduced to 79-5 at one stage on a tough morning.