April 16, 2000

Tour diary: Grenada break

This is my penultimate report from the West Indies and the reason for such a long delay since the last one is the fact that it was the ICC cricket week. The main event was a game between a World X1 and a Asian X1 held in Dhaka, Bangladesh involving players from the West Indies, Zimbabwe and Pakistan. Thus our tour schedule was interrupted and we have had a ten day break. Break is probably not the right word as we have used it as a training camp with lots of physical exercise and practice. It wasn't all work and no play though as some of the guys took time out to go on a deep sea fishing trip. It was a good day and after much reverse peristalsis, the guys caught 3 dolphin fish of about 25 lb in weight. No marlin or sailfish although Dirk Viljoen came back with a great fisherman's story that he had hooked a sailfish but it got away.

Neil Johnson and Andy Flower represented the World X1 and said they had a great time although 72 hours of flying in 5 days was a bit much. The game was a cracker with the World X1 loosing by 1 run - I think everyone got their moneys worth. We were invited to Grenada Breweries yesterday to have a look around and have a few beers afterwards. The beers concerned are called Carib and bizzarely enough the invitation to go to the brewery came about as a result of the diaries. If you will recall my first report, I mentioned we ran a gruelling 12km run when we first arrived in Grenada and managed to sample a few Carib's that night. Well as it transpired, the MD of the brewery read my report and decided that as we liked Carib so much he would invite us around for a guided tour and a few cold ones right off the poduction line. They were really refreshing!

A more serious issue has also reared its head again and that is match fixing. As we probably all know, Hansie Cronje has been at the centre of the controversy and it is something that has shocked the cricket world. There has been mixed reactions from different people but I can only hope the matter is resolved quickly.

I was going to mention at the beginning of my report that we only have a few days left in the Caribbean but with the margin of West Indies win over Pakistan the other day, we have been thrown a small lifeline as far as this competition is concerned. It obviously means we have to win tomorrow and West Indies have to win on Sunday. It is a mere glimmer, but after a good week of practice the boys are raring to go and like many have said before me - cricket is a funny game!