Jamaican googly

“I arrived in Jamaica on Sunday, June 19, the day which is also known as Father’s Day. In Jamaica this day has a special significance as all fathers go into hiding, as it is the day when their irate spouses corner them for the outstanding alimony.

Amongst the lot is Chris Gayle who has disguised himself into a large green T-shirt and now actually consists of 78 per cent hair.
Kingston by night is like most big cities, very scary. I rush to the confines of my hotel.
The name of the hotel is The Royal Cadeance, or some other such antiquated musical term. I bump into Rahul Dravid in the lobby, I offer my hand and he responds with a classical forward defence. Luckily for the both of us no physical contact is made. At the check-in counter I’m alarmed by the sounds of someone choking to death. I whip around to find that it’s only Harbhajan Singh whistling the title track of Buddha Hoga Tera Baap. As guests are quickly evacuated for safety reasons, I make my way to the elevator. Here I find some construction work blocking the entry to the left. A hotel staffer assured me on condition of absolute secrecy that the blockade is actually just the new Indian coach Duncan “make that large”, Fletcher doing some late-night calisthenics.
Finally I hit the bed, but am kept up by some nocturnal sounds, coming from the next room. At this point I can’t quite tell if the sounds are coming from Suresh Raina or Virat Kohli or more likely a combination of both together.
Growing up I dreamt of playing at the fabled Sabina Park. June 20th, my dream comes true. While waiting for the first Test match to start I play hide and seek with a couple of Jamaican school kids. I learn later that Carlton Baugh (Caribbean wicket-keeper) and Devendra Bishoo (Caribbean leg spinner) are just vertically challenged and aren’t actually school kids at all.
As the match gets under way I notice there are more people on the field than in the stand. Two more actually. How cricket has fallen in Jamaica. Where are the crowds? Where is Mickey Holding, Patrick Patterson, Courtney Walsh, Jeffrey Dujon and Jimmy Adams? With a heavy heart I’m told of the great Jamaicans of the last generation, only Apache Indian is still around.
Oh, and to be fair to Apache Indian, his only connection with the glorious game was that he famously thought that cricket was spelt with a “K”. In the good old days, the crowd would chant “Give im duh Parfume ball” which clearly meant get the batsman to smell the leather. Now whatever crowd is there is shouting to Darren Sammy (the home captain) “Today Maan Today!” which roughly translates into “You’r so bloody slow can you get the ball to land at the batsman by today please?”
As the Test goes through its twist and turns and India struggles to bear the weakest West Indian side since the Caribbeans were invented, I imagine I’m at the Sabina Park 30 years ago. Here I’m watching Michael Holding in his pomp, bowling to a very lonely Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar is very lonely because he can’t see anyone in front of him, all the fielders are behind him. There are five slips, two gullys, one backward short leg and one deep backward square leg, not a single West Indian in front of a forlorn Sunny fighting a lone battle. Holding starts his 40-yard run-up, and lets the ball go from that classical action, Gavaskar goes back and across… at this point I’m woken up to see it’s actually Devendra Bishoo, a leggie. Can you believe him bowling to Harbhajan Singh with five fielders on the boundary? Looks like Jamaica and the West Indies need an RTI and Lokpal Bill, well before we do.

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