Friday, 27 April 2007
CWC 2007 Comes to a Close and Memories of Kensington Oval
*Photo from www.cricinfo.com
The biggest event to ever have been hosted by the region is drawing to a close. It has been a financial success for the ICC. For fans from all over the world, Caribbean people and cricket in general, it has largely been a failure. Much has been written about all the problems that have plagued the tournament so I will not dwell on that. Needless to say, I have very strong views on the issues but I think its best for me to stick to the actual field of play.
Tomorrow’s game will be a rematch of the 1996 final. Eleven years ago, the Sri Lankans were not regarded by anyone as having a chance of winning. Their victory and the manner in which they played the game was the stuff of fairy tales. A team which had only recently been the whipping boy of international cricket was now world champion. In 2007 they are an established side with genuine world class players and a few cricketing legends to spice things up but they will still go into tomorrow’s game as the underdogs. Such is the dominance of the Aussies. I will be rooting for the Sri Lankans as I have been doing since the West Indies knocked themselves out of the tournament.
A good preview of tomorrow’s game can be read here.
And for added measure, here are two articles (1 and 2) about the home of West Indian cricket, Kensington Oval. Holding’s over to Boycott and Rowe’s 302 were before my time, but I did see among many other stand out performances, Marshall smash Salim Yousuf’s nose with a bouncer in 1987, Ambrose run through England’s batting on the last day of the test in 1990, Carlisle Best score 164 in the same match, Greenidge brutalise the Aussies in his last test innings with a double century in 1990 and Haynes score a century off Wasim and Waqar in 1992. Unfortunately I was in England studying in 1999 when Lara scored 153 against Australia in what is regarded as his best innings and could only watch on tv. Good memories but there are also bad memories like 1994 when Alec Stewart scored two centuries in a match as we lost a test at Kensington for the first time since 1935 and 2003 when Ponting and Waugh scored centuries to help Australia to a mammoth 605 on a slow dry pitch that was an insult to Kensington. That was the last time I went to Kensington. I chose not to go in 2004 when the English were there because I knew we would lose and I refused to suffer the indignity of seeing in person the old enemy securing their first series triumph in the Caribbean for 36 years at what was once our fortress.