“You must come to our Friday night lime!” Community cricket in Trinidad

you must come to our friday night lime community cricket in trinidad

It has long been reported that cricket, once the Caribbean’s favourite sport, is dying there: that American pastimes such as basketball and baseball have stolen the younger generation’s affection. And yet watching the West Indies play at home remains the holy grail for many a cricket fan, particularly an English one who grew up in awe of Brian Lara and Viv Richards, and the passionate, expressive style in which they played.

Six years ago, I finally made my pilgrimage. England were due to play a Test match in Antigua, and I had decided to spend the week before the game in Trinidad, a place I had often heard described on the radio when listening to matches. On my second day on the island, I was in the capital, Port of Spain, and walking past a high wall covered in advertising hoardings, I heard a noise from the other side I was sure I recognised. Thwock. There aren’t many things that sound as distinctive as a cricket ball being hit.

I saw an open gate and thought, in the way that obsessives sometimes do, that I’d just take a peek. And there beyond were the cricket nets, and a painted sign announcing “Harvard Club”, and a couple of young men in leg pads wielding bats…

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