Cuba February 21, 2008

Fidel and the full toss

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

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.

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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