February 21, 2008

Cuba

Fidel and the full toss

Martin Williamson

A letter in Scottish newspaper The Herald following the resignation of Fidel Castro.

The photo of Fidel Castro (Diary, February 20) has him holding what appears to be a cricket ball: thus his frown. However, a few years ago in Barbados I saw him attempt cricket, but on his terms. He was travelling to unveil a memorial when he spied a cricket game. Suddenly, all the security cars and media were put into a spin as they were diverted to the cricket pitch. There, Fidel wanted to bat and the Barbados PM bowled at him. "Stop," called Fidel. He couldn't handle the bouncing ball and demanded it be delivered full, like in baseball. The Barbados PM complied and Fidel whacked it. Then he wanted to bowl. But being Fidel he pitched as in baseball. And no amount of appealing to the rules by the Barbadian PM could get him to bowl. Like his life, he played the game but with his rules. Incidentally, he has subsequently brought in cricket gear and coaches to develop the game in Cuba.

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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