On to Bob's spiritual home
Posted in England in West Indies 2009
The England team were greeted as they landed in Kingston by what can only be described as a troop of dancers. In the check-in area. Giving it large.
It was a brilliant sight to behold - at one point I thought Graeme Swann was going to join in! Also present was the Jamaican Prime Minister, and that fine ambassador for West Indies cricket Courtney Walsh.
After this dramatic greeting, the route to the hotel took us past the re-designed Sabina Park, a huge concrete stand replacing the rickety old terraces and mountain views. Not quite classic carribean cricket but it does a job.
At the hotel, I was delayed checking in by the legend that is Sir Trevor McDonald. In fairness, he was full of apologies and ended up being located in the room next to mine. I later saw him being harassed by a gaggle of stewardesses at the poolside bar.
As for Jamaica, it is obviously dramatically different to St.Kitts, a far more industrious area but the people are warm and friendly, and it is of course the spiritual home of Bob Marley.
I had the fortune to visit the Bob Marley Museum, where the manager Mr 'Snowcone' Kelly gave an interview to ECBtv about how they are helping extend the legacy of Bob and keep his memory alive. Of course, the music is the best purveyor of this but it was fascinating to get a look at where Bob lived, recorded, hung out and was also shot! You can get a glimpse of the house and watch the interview on ECBtv now below.
As for the cricket, it's down to business and England have gone in with a strong side, Monty Panesar the only spinner. As I write, the game is in the balance after England's first innings 318, and the ground is gradually filling up as word spreads of an exciting Test.
It has also seen the referral system put to considerable use, but more of that later...