Sunday, January 23, 2011

Caribbean Cricket

Not your grandpa’s 3-day cricket that breaks for afternoon tea. I’m talking about decently exciting 20/20-style where each team bats for 20 overs (think innings where only 6 balls are thrown) and each time runs are scored, dancers are wukking up and people are jumping out their seats and waving 4 or 6-run mini-posters! Overall – a surprisingly fun atmosphere! So Wednesday night Canada was playing Barbados at the Oval downtown, so with a (patient) Bajan friend in tow, I was off to my first match. First off, I was told that cricket wasn’t dissimilar to baseball, except that you only run back and forth in a line with wickets (tall stick things) at either end. But what I didn’t know was that one team bats the full 20 overs (takes about an hour and a half) before the other team takes over.

We arrived a bit late for the 8pm game but it didn’t end up starting until closer to 9 – typical Bajan time. Barbados was up first, so after a barrage of questions about what has going on, I was finally starting to understand. Mostly I just liked cheering and jumping up with everyone else! But the rain wasn’t holding up so the game was interrupted about four times in the first half, so a lot of what I watched was this:

So what do you eat at a cricket match you might ask? Fishcakes with pepper sauce and Banks! I think I might be mildly addicted to fishcakes. It seems like a large number of people from the Canadian ex-pat community came out to the game as well. Here is a highlight of why I was cheering for Barbados and keeping my nationality a little hush-hush:

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