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T20 World Cup: Hope floats in Barbados, Mecca of Windies cricket | Cricket Information

The T20 World Cup has discovered a contented haven in an island which has a deep bond with the sport
BRIDGETOWN: Welcome to cricket paradise! After two weeks in the US of America, the place cricket is what baseball is to India, Sir Garfield Sobers greets you on the Barbados airport. Nicely, not fairly Sir Garry himself, however a large cut-out of the legendary allrounder enjoying the long-lasting off-drive.
Proper from the second you get down from the aircraft, you realize that there is a pageant of cricket taking place on this a part of the world.No, there aren’t mad crowds ready to catch a glimpse of cricket stars on the airport, however a quiet recognition of the truth that there is a World Cup to savour.
At first look, it looks as if a story of two World Cups. The authorities within the USA did their very best to assist the game get a couple of eyeballs, however you may see that they had been attempting so exhausting. Right here, it is all so easy, ranging from the volunteer on the airport – sporting a T20 World Cup shirt and serving to you discover your means round – to the receptionist on the resort foyer who’s watching the Bangladesh-Nepal match on TV with eager intent.

Barbados – which has the feel and appear of Goa – is unfold over 166 sq. miles and might be the unofficial cricket capital of the West Indies. In each nook and cranny, you will really feel how deep the legacy of cricket is. “A little bit far down is the burial floor of Malcolm Marshall,” somebody tells you, whereas anyone else suggests it is best to go to Bridgetown College and see the statues of the 3Ws.
The huge posters of dwelling boys Sobers, Joel Garner, Everton Weekes and Frank Worrell on the airport inform you that that is the place the place you need to be for those who love your cricket. The conversations on the immigration counter to the taxi stand to the seashore all revolve round cricket. There is a severe sense of anticipation right here because the enterprise finish of the World Cup begins. Nevertheless it’s not precisely a ‘selfie tradition’ with the celebrities, an concept we now have come to affiliate with Group India and its followers. The bond goes past that.
“Huge stars? Oh yeah, for those who’re a cab driver in Barbados for 20 years, you might need pushed Sir Garry a few times. No less than I’ve. After which there are such a lot of, Garner stays near my place, you begin chatting with him on cricket and he does not cease,” Geoff, a cab driver, mentioned.
And then you definately meet Solly, a person in his 40s, initially from Surat, who grew up enjoying with Irfan and Yusuf Pathan and now runs a enterprise right here and performs his membership cricket with Dyawne Smith and Kyle Mayers, amongst others. “We go on with our lives, however come weekends, with out fail, it is all about cricket,” Solly says.
However within the voice of the aged waiter on the beachside resort, you may hear that tinge of unhappiness that is turn out to be an element and parcel of West Indies cricket. “For us, cricket was our solely sport. Do not know what occurred, the place we went fallacious? My sons and nephews are into basketball and soccer,” Royce says whereas serving fish and beer.
The West Indies’ failure to qualify for the ODI World Cup was a humiliation that this technology, which grew up watching Clive Lloyd’s crew profitable the primary two, nonetheless cannot come to phrases with. For them, T20 is not the format that decides world champions. However, a great present will probably be like a balm.
“Tickets for the ultimate right here on June 29 are bought out. I could not handle to get one. West Indies aren’t doing too badly however I haven’t got religion in them. If they cannot win, let or not it’s India, they’ve such good gamers. In our taxi-stand, there’s this outdated TV, and in between our rides, we watch Indian cricketers within the IPL,” Geoff mentioned.
He’s proper, the Rohits and Virats are in a unique league. However for those who’re a cricket romantic strolling down the winding roads of Bridgetown on a lazy afternoon, it’s possible you’ll simply say a silent prayer hoping Geoff’s first want comes true.

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