Tuesday, April 10, 2007

WORLD CUP DIARY: Legend-spotting Part I

Haven’t done much legend-spotting to be honest, though I did interview Barbadian greats (Reverend) Wesley Hall and Joel Garner when they were in India to promote Barbados Tourism sometime back, and have met Garner in the West Indies as well…but we have been hot on the trail of the former greats that Barbados is synonymous with.

List out your All-time World XI, brother, and stack it up against the All-time Barbados XI – it’ll be a close finish! Let’s try listing the Barbados XI just for the heck of it:

Gordon Greenidge
Desmond Haynes
Conrad Hunte (should be an opener, but why disturb the Greenidge-Haynes combo?)
* Frank Worrell
Everton Weekes
Garfield Sobers
+ Clyde Walcott
Malcolm Marshall
Wesley Hall
Charlie Griffith
Joel Garner

[No spinners, you scoff. I blow a raspberry in your direction in reply…. Marshall! Hall! Griffith! Garner! Sobers! And I will make sure Sobers doesn’t bowl any spin.]

Anyway, all that’s beside the point. Point is that we went to the Empire Sports Club earlier today. That’s where Worrell, Weekes, Walcott, Griffith, Hunte, Seymour Nurse and some other West Indian cricketers played in their formative years. The house Worrell was born in is actually just outside the boundary of the club. Like the distance between Jama Masjid and Karim’s. That close. The size of the house is about that of one of the restaurants at Karim’s, and had reached ruin after Worrell’s death. So now the government is renovating it to turn it into a museum. No one lives there…. In fact, Worrell’s only daughter lives in Canada and doesn’t have much time for this small, otherwise dilapidated structure that is obviously of more value to the government and tourists like us.

Weekes and Walcott lived some distance away, but not too much. And Worrell’s grave – a couple of miles away – has a sculpture of the 3Ws in lieu of a tombstone.

We want to trace Malcolm Marshall’s roots tomorrow. Can’t be too difficult. Everyone in Barbados knows everything about their famous sons, and Marshall’s wife/widow apparently still runs a shop somewhere downtown. Will let you know how that goes…