Well the West Indies cricket team finally won a test match beating Pakistan by over 276 runs at Kensington Oval in Barbados yesterday. Its been such a long time since we've won a test match anywhere that to be honest I don't follow cricket as faithfully as I once did.
Still congrats to the team on the win.
This match was the final test match played at the current Kensington Oval as the ground is due for demolition in late June so that it can be rebuilt with lots of modern features in time to host the Cricket World Cup Finals in 2007.
I for one am going to miss the old Kensington as growing up I spent numerous days there with my dad watching Barbados and West Indies cricket. I wont recap wins or loss stats but it was a very successful ground for the West Indies team until a few years ago and I consider myself lucky to have grown up in the era of West Indies supremacy and have seen some of the cricketing greats like Haynes, Greenidge, Richards, Lloyd, Marshall, Holding and Garner play on that ground.
It was always fun being there hanging out in the grounds stand with my dad when I first started going and then recently going by myself and camping out in the Kensington stand. The atmosphere was always something that overwhelmed me anytime I walked through the gates and looked out onto the field. I'd take my seat and be surrounded by knowledgeable patrons, drunk patrons, cursing patrons and just some of the funniest banter you'll ever bear witness too.
International matches always had a certain electricity. It was difficult to find a good seat if you arrived late as the stands were packed and there was always some expectation that anything could happen with every ball. Almost like we were putting our collective influence behind the West Indies team and willing them to win with our music and cheering and sometimes jeering (booing Carl Hooper, a fan favorite, in 99 comes vividly to mind).
Regional matches on the other hand were more laid back with only the die hard fans really attending but it was fun to be able to stretch out in a bench in the Kensington stand and watch cricket and sleep and watch cricket and eat and just relax. I've had some of my clearest thinking moments at that ground at regional matches.
Then there was the food. Fish cakes galore used to eat in the stands or I'd go out to Pickwick Avenue and hold a seat in the back of some little rumshop and eat some home made fried chicken and rice n peas. There were also the vendors outside the ground whose stalls always seemed to be crowded. I'd go for lunch and spend almost the entire 45 minute break standing in line just to get close enough to shout for my piece of mac pie and chicken. damn! lol.
Anyway the memories really do come flooding back.
But I've gone on too long with the memories what I really wanted to share with you was a bit of a confession about Kensington Oval. However now I think I'll do that tomorrow.