Saturday, January 12, 2008

Barbados Report - No 2

Ricky, the taxi driver just wasn't having it. He'd overheard me say that I thought Michael Holding and Shane Warne were the best bowlers this world has ever seen. "Ah beg tu diffa" came over the loudspeaker. "Malcolm Marshall was da best o dem all". After some discussion we agreed that another Barbadian, Sir Garfield Sobers was the best cricketer ever. And we also agreed about the present rumpus going on in Australia.

There can be no argument about Barbados producing more pounds of world class cricketer per square inch that anywhere else in the world. Apart from Sobers and Marshall, there's Joel Garner, Gordon Greenage (?) and the three Ws, Worrell, Weekes and Walcott amongst several others. And there are more people living in Cardiff than the entire population of Barbados.

But back to the goings on in Australia. Neither of us knew what was to be done. But both of us would have preferred Ponting to have acted differently. Ricky, felt strongly about this, because it could be that in the end, Buckner (a Barbadian and a fine and fair umpire) will probably turn out to be the only one who is punished . My own view of this is coloured by my preference for men to sort out things amongst themselves rather than resort to 'government' to do it for them.

The row stems from accusations that Harbhajan Singh called Australian batsman, Andrew Symonds a monkey, a reference to his ethnic background. Harbhajan denies this - but has been suspended for 3 matches anyway. Its one man's word against another. Unfair accusations of racism are wrong, as well as racism itself. Inevitably, the Indians have kicked up a fuss, and there is no obvious way out of the mess. I would prefer if Ponting had informed Buckner that he wanted to go for a pee, marched into the Indian dressing room, demanded a meeting with the captain, and another with Harbhajan, a full apology, assurances that it would not happen again etc.. And that is after sorting out whether he said it, of course.

But we are where we are. The match referee has decided. It really would be an outrage if the authorities back down. Any backtracking would be as a result of political and financial pressure (there is more money in Indian cricket than the rest of the world put together). The message about stamping out racism would be weakened, rather than what was intended by the new rules. It may well be that the tour will be suspended and world cricket thrown into turmoil. But that's what happens whenever 'government' becomes involved in things. Ricky has a very low opinion of his namesake, Ponting after this - and it wasn't high before. There is a growing world wide dislike of the current Australian team. And I suspect there is no-one more opposed to racism in sport than a Barbadian taxi driver.


Jeff Jones said...

Gordon Greenidge developed as a cricketer in Reading. He used to go to a school called Alfred Sutton Boys School.It was my first school and I taught his brother in the 1970s.Gordon who arrived in England as a teenager owed agreat deal to a teacher called harry Jackson who was the school's Deputy Head.Most of the boys came from Barbados. They were often incredibly proud of the fact that Barbados had been one of the first parts of the British Empire to agree to fight Hitler in 1939. Until I went to Alfred Sutton I had always assumed that all West Indians were the same. Unfortunately one day one of my class burst into tears because he was being teased by the other West Indians. When I asked them why they were doing this the explanation I was given was that the boy came from Jamaica. I tried to explain that this was absolutely ridiculous only to be floored by the comment from a 15 year old that the Jamaicans were ' the Irish of the West Indies'! Great kids and great people. Enjoy a well earned holiday in Barbados, Glyn.

Oscar said...

Try the Cliff rest, or the Lone Star, or even Le Mere .
The firts 2 I could highly commend.

I am in Boston my self!

Oscar said...

Cliff Restaurant,Lone Star, you will HAVE to make an advance reservation this time of year.

Ollie said...

We love Barbados, but have never been able to go in the high season, January and Febuary, the price is so out of our legue!

Nice if you can go though.

Savonarola said...


Greenidge and RichardsB the finest opening pair in County cricket ever.

Marshall better than Holding.

Sobers/Bradman take your pick.

Australia had it coming to them. Ponting has no class. He will be remembered for this. Only the cricketers can sort this out(like you say). It is beyond umpires and referees and ICC.

Bucknor should not have been dropped. Bad precedent. Bucknor should have been retired two seasons ago. In decline as an umpire.

You are mot missing much here. Foul weather. Tangerine man high and dry. He knows he should resign but needs the three salaries and perks. He and others(on both sides) are why we don't vote.

Glyn Davies said...

jeff - the ultimate crime is to think all the Islanders are the same. Barbados is a fabulous place.

savonarola - just down to the fine decisions here. I just thought the Whispering Death was just so fantastic to watch bowling, like poetry. I know Buckner had a bad game, and should have been retired, but it looks as though he has been sacrificed - and that is plain wrong. I really cannot believe that Peter Hain is still there - he should be Bucknered.

savanarola said...


Holding may or may not have been quicker. He took 249 wickets at 23.68 in 60 tests. Very smooth using his 6'3"
Marshall played 80, took 376 at 20.94. Fast run and more arm action. Under 6'.

Marshall the better bat. Almost an all rounder. Sadly MM died at 41. Big C.