England in the Caribbean – 19th February 2019

The ‘Three Ws’ cricket ground has been slowly but beautifully created to reflect the history and celebrate the successes of West Indies cricket, and it has been done so to reflect the culture of the region rather than following the more ‘traditional’ concept of what a museum should look like.
The ‘Walk of Fame’ is exactly that, an outside walk featuring plaques commemorating every century and five-wicket haul claimed by West Indies cricketers since the first Test match in 1928. It was an eye-opener for some first-time visitors – not the records, but the names. Cuthbert Gordon Greenidge features promimently, as do Lancelot Gibbs and Hilary Gomes. Most people knew that Sir Viv is actually Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards.

Sirs Frank Worrell, Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott are all amongst the greatest batsmen of all time but it is their attitude and approach to the game from which we can, and should all learn. There are two plaques at the end of ‘The Walk’ with quotes from Worrell which are worth remembering – which is why they are there, of course.

Notwithstanding the vastly different worlds and eras in which the game was played then and now, the relevance of what Worrell said should never be lost. Australians from the Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke era might raise an eyebrow: “Now there is nothing wrong with wanting to win. But there is a lot wrong with getting so carried away with success that you can no longer play the game in the proper spirit.”

Anyway, it was a day off for the TalkSport commentary team today and the Barbados Tourist Board kindly arranged a trip to the oldest Rum Distillery in the world – Mount Gay, in the tiny suburb of St.Lucy.

It was a little early at 11:30am to be tasting, but we did our best. Some did better than others, notably Gareth Batty who has joined the commentary team for the ODIs having missed the Test series. Jetlag was his excuse for throwing himself into the research while the rest of us were battling the taste of breakfast in our mouths.

Fascinatingly, the ‘discovery’ of rum was a complete accident. The tiny island of Barbados was one of the biggest sugar producers on earth but the nasty, sticky residue from the sugar cane production – molasses – was discarded. Until, one day, somehow, it, yeast and water came together.

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