Cricket lovely cricket!

 Cricket lovely cricket by Saran P King

“How is that?!”

The greatest game of ALL time “cricket”. You have not seen a ‘real’ cricket match until you have experienced one in the West Indies. I’m sure some of you can attest to that, those of you who watch the game at least. The song writer says “there’s nothing sweeter than salt fish,” but I disagree. There is nothing sweeter than a cricket match.

For those who are not familiar with the game and its rules, let me shed a little light, so you can better understand the game and how it is played. Cricket is a team sport that is played with a bat and ball between 2 teams, 11 players on each side, made up of a captain, bats men, bowlers, a wicket keeper and fielders. The game is played on a field also called a ground. In the middle of the field is a rectangular space of 22 yards called a pitch with 2 wickets placed on the farthest ends. Each wicket comprises of 3 stumps (vertical stakes) and 2 bails (horizontal stakes) that sits on top of the stumps. After a coin toss, the captain of the team that wins the toss, decides whether he or she wants to bat or field. The game may be 50 or 20 overs for each team for a days play, 6 balls per over. Some games however can run as long as 5 days in the case of a test match. The objective of the game is for the batting team to make as many runs in the allotted time with 2 bats men at a time while the fielding or bowling team attempts to dismiss the bats men in the same time given, using all 11 players on the field. There are 3 umpires in all who oversea the games play, 2 on the field and a 3rd umpire or video umpire who is situated off the field and adjudicates the game. I wouldn’t want to confuse anyone with all the positions on the field like the gulley, 3rd man, 2nd slip, mid off, fine leg, deep backward point, silly point, cover, extra cover, anybody confused yet? I still am at times!

But a true West Indian knows that all of that is not what is really important. Anyone who has ever been to a cricket match in the Caribbean knows that it’s all about the atmosphere of the game. It’s all about the entertainment, it’s about the personalities and characters that you see and meet. It’s about the people you greet and the bonding experience with other West Indians and persons around the world. Certainly we want our team to win but we all enjoy the music that ‘chickies hifi’ (a local musical DJ) plays when a West Indian hits that new ball over and out of the stadium. We know it’s about the bar-b-que chicken that is hot and sizzling and local drinks readily available for purchase from any of the many vendors selling both inside and outside of the grounds. It’s about jumping for joy and screaming at the top of your lungs when a bats man hits a 4 or 6 or when the wicket keeper gets that crucial stumping just when the bats man looses concentration and steps out his crease. It’s about watching gravy (local entertainer) entertain the crowd as he displays his acrobatic skills on the stands during the breaks.

I can remember going to the school boys stand with my brother when we were in primary school. I would always get excited as we settled in with our lunch and snacks in our nap sack, water and juice on hand. Of course it was more exciting if West Indies was winning but if they weren’t, it was still ok because we were enjoying the atmosphere. I don’t remember knowing too much about the rules back then, neither was I ever keeping score. Good thing there was a score board, unless I would have been completely lost with who was winning and who was losing. Even without the score board you would be gently reminded of the winning team by the crowd’s reaction. If there was a lot of noise, laughing, happy faces and smiles, you know we were winning for sure. But if you heard more than your share of choice words, gloomy faces and arguing, then you know we were on the losing side.

But it’s not all fun and games for everyone, there are the die-hard fans, those persons who are very serious about the game and not interested in frolicking or chit chatting. These are the persons who would have their eyes fixed on the field, watching the players every move and criticizing or commenting every stroke of the ball and every over bowled. You would definitely know these fans as they sport off their small fm radios, that would constantly blast in their ears as they hang on to the commentators every descriptive words as the game progressed.

As the players take the tea break, the kiddy cricketers appropriately and smartly dressed for the occasion would take center stage as they mimic the adults they just saw with their tiny bats in hands, hopping and skipping around the field until it was time to resume the real game.

Definitely, no real game would be complete without seeing a visitor prance across the field dressed in nothing but their birthday suit, dodging the police officer with their many twist and turns, until they are eventually caught.

So you see, you can appreciate that watching a game of cricket is not limited to just watching the game but it’s about enjoying everything that surrounds it, from the entertainment on and off the field, from those in the party stand to the serious fans. It’s about the mouth watering food, great music and company. Watching cricket in the West Indies is a well rounded experience packed with a little of everything for everyone. Cricket lovely cricket!

The calypso below was written after the West Indies won the

 test match in 1950 against England at Lords

VICTORY CALYPSO – Egbert Moore (“Lord Beginner”)

Cricket lovely Cricket,

At Lord’s where I saw it;

Cricket lovely Cricket,

At Lord’s where I saw it;

Yardley tried his best

But Goddard won the test.

They gave the crowd plenty fun;

Second Test and West Indies won.


Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


The King was there well attired,

So they started with Rae and Stollmeyer;

Stolly was hitting balls around the boundary;

But Wardle stopped him at twenty.

Rae had confidence,

So he put up a strong defence;

He saw the King was waiting to see,

So he gave him a century.


Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


West Indies first innings total was three-twenty-six

Just as usual

When Bedser bowled Christiani

The whole thing collapsed quite easily;

England then went on,

And made one-hundred-fifty-one;

West Indies then had two-twenty lead

And Goddard said, “That’s nice indeed.”


Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


Yardley wasn’t broken-hearted

When the second innings started;

Jenkins was like a target

Getting the first five in his basket.

But Gomez broke him down,

While Walcott licked them around;

He was not out for one-hundred and sixty-eight,

Leaving Yardley to contemplate.


Chorus:The bowling was superfine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


West Indies was feeling homely,

Their audience had them happy.

When Washbrook’s century had ended,

West Indies voices all blended.

Hats went in the air.

They jumped and shouted without fear;

So at Lord’s was the scenery

Bound to go down in history.


Chorus:After all was said and done

Second Test and the West Indies won!

 Want to know more about the game, click the links below to find more details

Cricket Rules

Think you know about cricket, play these fun trivia games

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