Beyond the sandy shores of Barbados lies a world of countless memories to be made. After a visit to the island, you will be able to say that you dined with the stars under star-kissed Caribbean skies; took a photo with a lion balancing on a giant cricket ball; bought souvenirs in one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites or visited a church where coffins move.
Whether you seek the mysteries of the island’s charm or comfort in familiarity, Barbados offers it all. Have sushi night and cocktails with new friends, or share a seat with the regulars on a wooden bench in a rum shop, where you will be surely entertained by the friendly banter about cricket and current affairs. Or, recuperate with a laze on the shores of the birthplace of the world’s oldest rum with a cooling rum punch. Feeling extravagant? Journey to the platinum west coast to have a VIP experience shopping for statement designer pieces revered the world over.
After visiting Barbados, your travel stories will include visits to one of the three remaining Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere at St. Nicholas Abbey, and a journey through the ‘Great Hall’ nestled more than 100 feet underground in the island’s most popular cave. And, there is no doubt about the awe-inducing qualities of the beaches. So, after you’ve taken a dive with the turtles or a catamaran cruise along the tranquil coast, be sure to take a gander across to the eastern shores of the island and be amazed by the contrast in temperaments between the docile Caribbean Sea and the agitated Atlantic Ocean.
A Rich History
Cricket has been played in Barbados since the early 19th century, starting with the establishment of the West Indian Regiment who competed against the visiting British Army and Navy teams. Organized cricket began in Barbados from 1892. During a period in the late 19th century, cricket in Barbados was deemed to have reached an acceptable standard and the Barbados Cricket Challenge Cup was established.
In 1933, the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) was incorporated by an act of Parliament. During the late 19th century and the birth of the BCA, we saw the persistent and social classification in Barbados cricket began to disappear.
After the slave rebellion of the 1930s, the Barbados Cricket League was established to give the lower class the opportunity to play organized cricket. This merger of the islands leading cricket authorities saw over 124 cricket grounds formed during the next 30 to 40 years. The birth of our cricketing legends and the game itself has transformed Barbados’ cricket as a major form of social expression and has given the island a sense of national identity on the world scene.
The staging of ICC World Cup 2007 was a culmination of the island’s ability to stage a world class event. The legacy left behind in successfully hosting the best teams in the world at that time will benefit the planning and management of the International Golden Oldies Cricket Festival 2017.
Cricket in Barbados
Despite being only 166 square miles there are over 80 cricket fields that have regular games played throughout the year. The grounds that have been suggested to us as Host Grounds for the Golden Oldies Cricket Festival represent some of the best available on the Island.
Headquarters Ground is the remarkable and world-renowned Kensington Oval which was extensively refurbished and upgraded for the 2007 World Cup. A further fabulous facility that has hosted international cricket is the Three W’s Oval at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of West Indies. Next to the Oval is the CLR James Centre for Cricket Research and leading up the hill from the cricket ground is the West Indies Cricket Walk of Fame which leads up the gravesites of Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Clyde Walcott
In the park you will find a monument in the shape of a ‘W’ with busts of each of the famous 3Ws – Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Everton Weekes. These three Barbadian cricketers were all born within a few miles of each other and became a fearsome batting trio for the West Indies. All three were knighted for their service to cricket.
Even if your team is not lucky enough to be drawn to play a game at Kensington or Three W’s, both are worth a visit to see the facilities available to young cricketers in what has to be one of leading cricket centres in the world.
A great selection of club grounds is waiting to welcome international Golden Oldies Cricketers to enjoy and experience cricket Caribbean style.
In addition to the fabulous Three W’s, Barbados has produced Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Wesley Hall and Sir Conrad Hunte – Six cricketing knights in a small slightly remote Caribbean paradise with a population of approximately 285,000.
Recent outstanding performers from Barbados have included Joel Garner, Desmond Haynes, Gordon Greenidge, Charlie Griffiths, Malcolm Marshall, Sherwin Campbell, Seymour Nurse, Vanburn Holder, Fidel Edwards, Pedro Collins and many more outstanding international players who not only performed extremely well but recognised and respected the traditions of our great game.
Constant reminders of cricket and cricketers are visible throughout wonderful Barbados.