Andrew McGlashan on England in West Indies, 2008-09 February 21, 2009

New island, new stories

Another hotel check-in, another new sim card and another call to my bank to unblock my card which gets barred every time I try and use it in a new place



The waves were crashing on the south coast of Barbados as I pulled into my latest hotel, but will this leg of the tour provide calmer waters? The 11 days in Antigua produced some extraordinary stories – from the sandpit at North Sound, the move to the ARG, Allen Stanford's fraud investigation and West Indies' gusty effort to save the Test.

The departure from Antigua proved a final intriguing moment from a crazy week. As we pulled up to the airport we drove past Stanford's grand office buildings, the Bank of Antigua and, of course, his cricket ground. The lights were still on in the Sticky Wicket bar, but it's safe to say no one was at home.

In some ways it was almost a relief to arrive in another country. That is one of the fascinations of touring West Indies as each island you arrive on is something new. I'm a bit of a fan of filling my passport up, too, so all the extra stamps are a bonus. All the immigration officers so far have noticed the job title I put down as journalist and quickly start talking about the cricket. They are incredibly disappointed when I tell them I'm actually here to cover a farming convention.

Although there are many things to link all the Caribbean islands, each is also subtly different. Flying in over the west coast of Barbados you have a great few of some of the prime real estate. Massive houses with extravagant pillars and balconies lined the shore and vast hotel complexes, which look like small towns, prepare to welcome the well-off travelling support.

Michael Vaughan has a house on the island and given England's current injury problems it might not be a bad idea for him to fly out just in case. It would certainly been an easier journey than Amjad Khan and Ravi Bopara have had to make from New Zealand. Those two are going to struggle to know what time it was when they arrive.

As for me, well it's been the usual list of things to sort. Another hotel check-in, another new sim card and another call to my bank to unblock my card which gets barred every time I try and use it in a new place. I'm very grateful for my bank's anti-fraud measures, but I couldn't help chuckle as they ran through my statement confirming all the transactions were mine.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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