Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Saturday, April 12, 2003  

It's not often that I spend a whole day more or less doing nothing, but after the hellish week at work I had, I felt I'd earned a day of indolence a la Keats. So I lounged in bed most of the time, reading some, but in the main watching the third day's coverage of the first Test against Australia taking place in gorgeous Georgetown. (Despite all of Guyana's problems, it continues to boast the most beautiful capital city in the English-speaking Caribbean, without a doubt.)

It was an enjoyable day of cricket. The West Indies managed to bat through a whole day, posting an impressive 381 runs for the loss of just five wickets, keeping the redoubtable tandem of Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee at bay and recovering some honour after the poor first innings showing of 237. Captain Lara and his compatriot Daren Ganga each posted centuries, Lara's taking him to 19 Test tons in all and 2,000 Test runs against the mighty Antipodes. In the end he left the crease the only way Lara can when he's on song - by outing himself, hit wicket.

Much has been made of the racial tensions and internecine violence in Guyana, and while things have eased up some recently, the situation remains an uneasy one. So it was good to see the crowd, Indian and African alike, enjoying the match, side by side, even if not exactly brothers and sisters in arms.

Now I certainly don't have any illusions about cricket being the panacea for all that ails us in the Caribbean. But as I've written before, the game has done more than anything else to foster some sort of integration. Certainly it is, and will continue to be, a key component in the thrust for the forging of a Caribbean nation. I don't think anyone, even the non-cricket enthusiasts among us (you know who you are) will deny that.

Right now, though, what's most important is that the West Indies go on to post a considerable lead and take this match to an exciting end on Monday.

posted by Jonathan | 10:35 PM 0 comments


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