Cricket, Ten'dollar and a glass of beer!

Caribbean beats

Cricket, Ten'dollar and a glass of beer!

Simpson, a taxi driver, is a bit aghast at how the pitches in the Caribbean have turned spinner-friendly (or in favour of slow bowlers). “If you have good spinners, your team will do well,” he says before giving the example of New Zealand-Zimbabwe match on Tuesday. “You saw yesterday? Zimbabwe were 62 for two and they became 69 for seven in ten minutes. Scott Styris and Nathan McCullum took three wickets each… can you believe that? What the heck is happening?” he wonders. He may not be bang on with his stats, but there was no mistaking the concern.

Of course, if you are from India and you are talking cricket, it’s impossible that Sachin Tendulkar’s name doesn’t crop up. His cricketing exploits are well-chronicled but his personal riches too attract wide attention. ‘He is a rich maan, isn’t he?” asks Simpson. “We don’t call him Tendulkar, we call him Ten‘dollar’! He has so much money!” he marvels.

In legends’ memory
You might find an odd Anil Kumble circle in Bangalore or a Tendulkar Road in Gwalior in honour of our cricketers but, driving around Barbados you will see every second roundabout (circle) named after a former cricketer. There is a picturesque ground at the University of the West Indies that is named after three Ws (Walcott, Worrel and Weeks); The 3Ws Oval at the Cave Hill. Walking into the campus the first thing that strikes you is the CLR James Cricket Research Centre, named after the author of what is widely believed as the best book on cricket – Beyond A Boundary.

Tipsy steps
Cricket in the West Indies isn’t just about cricket. In fact in places like St Lucia, the newest international venue in the Caribbean, it’s as though the game is just incidental for them. It’s like going to a party where, with a glass of beer or rum in their hands, they will be swaying to the local music blaring at the same time from different stands. While the sizeable Indian supporters enjoy cricket in Caribbean style, for the locals it’s song and dance time under the sun.

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