By James Herron
Today was the last day of “acclimatisation” before the main reason for being here gets underway…once again with jet lag still in the cloud some of the lads were in the pool from 6am!
Normally acclimatisation for a cricket tour would mean nets and plenty of practice – so in that spirit at 8.30am we were off on a Jeep safari! However there were not many animals to be sought – we did see at least 3 of the 65,000 monkeys in the wild on the island, though! This Safari (spell check initially came up sadist – I will let you make up your own mind) was about off-roading through plantation fields at 50mph whilst holding on for dear life in the back of a Land Cruiser truck – it was an experience…and it lasted 5 hours, but we did this across the whole of the island. To see the lads being tossed like a…well I will leave you to finish the sentence, but they were being tossed and a number of them were regretting having burnt backs or that extra sausage / bacon at breakfast! It was great fun!!
However, in amongst the sadism (Safari) was the wonder of the island – the coastal routes, the locals, the fruit – tasting sugar cane and working out how to get inside a coconut (if you have seen the film Castaway you will appreciate it is far from easy!). However, whilst the tour was designed to shock your senses with the driving / landscape – and it did, our drivers who were also local historians, geologists, botanists and navigators explained all of this including the plantation history and slavery (far from wonder – but it is British colony history) how opulence co-exists with poverty and shacks and how British influence continues to this day – we got to see what I consider the true side of the island. It really was Richard Attenborough and Colin McRea rolled into one! On a more light hearted note the trip was off-set by Rihanna’s grandfathers house, Nigel Benn’s Aunty’s Bar and Cilla Black’s house…if only the lads knew what the last two meant! You do start to realise that you cannot make this stuff up…it’s the Bajan way and it has so much going for it!
The late afternoon saw a visit to the Kensington Oval stadium in Bridgetown followed by a Chinese take away dinner (what else would you do when in the Caribbean!) hosted by Jacob’s mom and dad, Pauline and Martin – my thanks to them for doing this and to letting all 13 lads access the wifi code…it was like all their Christmas’s had come at once! I expect to see similar tomorrow if we achieve a W.
I could also throw in 90 minutes of pool games, a taxi driver who went to school with Malcolm Marshall (I told him to keep taking wrong turns so I could talk to him more!) and the batting and bowling line ups agreed for our opening two games tomorrow…the latter of which will start my next update.
The acclimatisation is over, it’s been a wonderful couple of days, tomorrow we play the leading cricket school in the island…home to the Brathwaite brothers (“remember the name”) and Chris Jordan…Combermere School.
In case you were wondering, the search for our deputy wicket keeper…continues!
Diary 4 will start with 2 x T20’s…here we go…