It's Carnivale! Cricket in the Windies 2003 - Tour Review - Web Blog - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fan blogs

It's Carnivale! Cricket in the Windies 2003 - Tour Review

Well what a trip, stage one of this tale was written after Barbados & then the second was written once I got home, hope you enjoy it.


At the moment I am sitting in an internet cafe in Antigua, having just had 8 sensational days in Barbados, watching the Aussies thrash the West Indies at cricket, drinking Caribbean rum and beer, and lazing on the best beaches I've ever seen. It's been sensational.

The flight from London to Barbados took 8 hours, unfortunately the airline didn't give us any free booze, so we arrived in Barbados sober as a judge, not quite as pissed as Boonie after his 52 can effort from Oz to London a few years back.

We caught a cab to our hotel, and were very pleasantly surprised to see that we were staying literally on the doorstep of a magnificent sandy white beach, it was an awesome location. We stayed in a 3 bedroom apartment, with 4 other guys and one lucky lady, Ali, who had the good fortune to be sharing a room with me and Vasty, which she was overjoyed about...

For the first few days in Barbados we lazed around the beach and the pool, trying to get rid of our insipid English winter non existant suntans, and we checked out a few of the various nightspots. The day before the Test Match started we chartered a fishing boat and went deep sea fishing. Unfortunately I had a few too many Mount Gay rum's the night before, and after an hour or 2 of bouncing over 8 to 10 foot high waves, I deposited the previous nights rum into the Caribbean Sea, much to the amusement of my fellow fishers.

My efforts worked however, as shortly after my multicoloured burp, our flatmate Yatesy caught an 80cm long Barricuda.

The next 5 days were spent at the Kensington Oval in Barbados watching Australia give the West Indies a cricket lesson. The actual cricket itself was fairly boring, the Windies were useless, but it was good to see Steve Waugh make a century and Adam Gilchrist hit some of the biggest 6's I've ever seen.

But the best part of being at the cricket was the atmosphere in the stands.

After day 1 we moved into the "party stand" which for an extra 40 Barbados dollars (about 35 aussie, or 15 pounds) meant you could have all the beer, rum, punch and anything else that you could drink.

All the Fanatics made the most of that offer, and by the end of each days play everyone was carrying on, singing songs, dancing in the stands, making banter with the locals, it was very good. Being on TV meant numerous text messages from our pasty mates in the UK.

Our stand had a DJ who played funky music in between overs, some of the local songs have hilarious lyrics such as "give me the pussy and bring me some cash", almost every song is about picking up girls, I think one song even mentioned the word "discharge"??!!.

The Fanatics had a few good songs themselves, we had a different chant for each player, and also for the umpires, I particularly liked the chant we had for Umpire Venkat. We were also singing every classic Aussie rock song of all time, Down Under, Working Class Man, Holy Grail, and many others all got a good workout, although some of the singing wasn't too flash coming from 250 blokes and about 10 girls.

One of my highlights of the test was seeing a "Bob Neil to replace Richie" banner hanging from one of the stands, not many of you will know what that means but I'm sure the Adelaide boys will find that amusing.

After the end of the match all the Aussie players came over to us and clapped us, Steve Waugh said later that it was like being at a home match in Australia, we made more noise than the West Indies fans. Once the players had left the field we were allowed on to the ground, we stayed out there for an hour or so kicking the footy and playing cricket.

Later in the evening after the game had ended we ventured to Harbor Lights nightclub, a massive open air venue where you pay 30 Barbados and get all you can drink. We met a few of the Aussie players, they were all top blokes and most of them were pissed as a fart which was good to see.

There were many very lusty local girls on the dance floor, and despite my best efforts at scoring a century away from home, pitch conditions weren't very conducive to run scoring, and I failed to even get off the mark let alone score a ton, and went home with a big duck next to my name.

We didn't finish up at Harbor Lights until about 3am, which in hindsight was a silly decision seeing as we had a 9am flight to Antigua, or so we thought. After struggling to get to the airport at 7:45 and waiting forever for the wives of the Australian players who were in front of us to check in, about 10 of us were told that the flight had been overbooked and that we would have to wait until 2:30pm for another one. As we were all either still pissed, or hungover, there was a lot of arguing with the airline staff and verbal abuse, I lost count of the number of times I hear the words "absolute joke", "unacceptable" "fu*king disgrace" etc.

But we eventually got to our destination of Antigua without any other dramas. We arrived here 2 days ago, and yesterday we hired a car with 4 guys from our tour, Bazza, Marko, Yatesy and Roger Starcevich" Merrett, and drove around the whole island, managed to get lost a few times, but we did some cool stuff like buying fresh pineapples and mangos from a stall on the side of the road, and checked out 3 great beaches.

One of them was called Half Moon Bay, and after snorkelling and bodysurfing for a few hours, we did the only appropriate thing and dropped our shorts and
had a photo taken of 6 Full Moon's at Half Moon Bay.......Today will be another relaxing day on the beach, until the 4th Test Match starts tomorrow where hopefuly it is as much fun as the Barbados game was.


It's hard to describe how good it was in the West Indies without having been there, but I'll do my best.

Antigua was a much more relaxed place than Barbados, if that is possible.

The beaches were sensational, one near our hotel was particularly good as it featured quite a few scantily clad young ladies....The local people are very friendly and relaxed, and they all want to talk to the Aussies about the cricket and what we think of their country.

Speaking of cricket, that's the main reason why we were in Antigua, and wewere pretty lucky to be there as the game turned out to be one of the best of all time, with the West Indies scoring a world record 418 to beat us.

We were sitting in the stand where all the action was, "Chickie's Double Decker Red Stripe Beer Posse". It wasn't an all you can drink and eat stand like we sat in at Barbados, but the atmosphere in the stand was just as good if not better, there was a lot more locals there, and the DJ was playing music in between overs, every day was a big party. One day in particular stand out in the memory, I think it was Day 2 of the Test match. A couple of poms were sitting a few seats away from "The Fanatics".

They stupidly decided to heckle us with some anti Aussie abuse, and sure enough we responded back to them. One of the poms looked like Michael Bolton the 80's singer with a shocking haircut, and the other one looked like Newman from Seinfeld. We got numerous chants going such as "We've got Michael Bolton, in our stand", " I would rather be a Kiwi than a Pom", etc etc.

One of the boys got the DJ to announce over the ground "Could Michael Bolton please meet Newman in the Red Stripe stand" which caused much laughter from the crowd. As the day progressed, and more rum was consumed, the banter continued. Towards the end of the days play, Michael Bolton stood up to heckle us once more, and we noticed he had about half a bottle of rum in his hand, so we started the "skull, skull, skull" chant, not really expecting him to down the rest of the bottle, but to our amazement and amusement he proceeded to do just that in about 30 seconds. He received a huge cheer from the crowd, and gave us a victory salute, but we just waited to see what would happen to him after drinking so much booze. After a few minutes he started to look a bit wobbly, then within 10 minutes after his magnificent effort, he had passed out face first onto his seat, I've never seen someone go from hero to zero so quickly.

The chants went up:

Where is Michael, where is Michael
He is f*cked he is f*cked
Couldn't beat the Aussies, couldn't beat the Aussies
Stupid Pom, Stupid pom

I’m on the rum
I’m on the rum
I’m on the rum that killed Michael Bolton

But after he had been passed out for a while, we became a bit concerned for his welfare, and an ambulance was called to take him away. As he was carried out on a stretcher, we all stood up and formed a guard of honour for him, and a few of the guys were singing the Michael Bolton song "Tell me how am I supposed to live without you", it was funny yet concerning at the same time. We were all wondering if he would live to see the night out as he didn't look to be moving at all, yet amazingly he was back at the cricket the next day, not looking particularly good, but he had a rum and coke in his hand, what a clown.

After Day 4 of the match, when it was almost all over, we ventured to Lashings Beach Bar, which funnily enough was situated right on the beach.

Former West Indies players Curtley Ambrose and Richie Richardson's band was playing there, and heaps of people were there to see them play, although they were fairly crap.

After a few drinks at Lashings, combined with the day's drinking rum at the cricket, about 6 of us were inspired to "nude up" and do a nude streak along the beach outside the pub. I was slightly sceptical, especially about nuding up in front of a large number of black men, but we were encouraged by the camera crew that had been filming our antics at the cricket, so we did the streak for 100 metres or so, unfortunately it was captured on film so no doubt that will make the highlights video.

The taxi ride back to our hotel that night was quite interesting, the "nude up, nude up, nude up" chant was popular, most of the taxi was at least half naked, Vasty kept hanging his bum out the window at every local we drove past which I'm sure was appreciated by them. By this stage of the tour, everyone in the Fanatics had seen the Bob Neil signs at the cricket, and although most of them, just like most of you, didn't know what he was all about, Vasty and I managed to get the whole taxi, even the driver I think, singing "Bobby Neil, Bobby Neil, Bobby Neil", it was a marvellous moment.

Back at the hotel, we were still fired up after a big day, so 3 of us from our apartment, and Jimmy another guy from Adelaide, decided to nude up again and walk 10 minutes or so through our hotel down to the beach and go for a skinny dip, we got some strange looks from the security guard, but fortunately there were no other guests around at that time of night.

The rest of the cricket was a blur of wickets falling, runs being made, and rum and coke being drunk, but in the end the West Indies were deserved winners after their world record run chase, and the crowd went crazy when they scored the winning runs. As in Barbados, we were allowed on to the ground after the match, so we had a look at the pitch, and kicked the footy on the ground. For some reason Vasty and I at one stage were mobbed by a bunch of about 20 Antiguan school kids wanting our autograph on their school uniforms, so I kindly obliged, then they chased Vasty around The oval trying to get his autograph, he was too slow to avoid them however and they tackled him to the ground and made him sign their uniforms as well.

After the match we went for a swim in the pool for a while, then ventured back to Lashings for the after match party. There was no repeat of the nuding up of the previous night, but a fun evening was still had, there was a huge game of beach cricket outside Lashings, with about 100 fielders, at one stage a few of the Aussie players joined in, Brett Lee was bowling to Darren Lehmann, then a few of us bowled to Lee, I came charging in off the long run up only to have him smash me back over my head, I think I've still got a bit of work to do before I play for Australia. Almost all the players from both teams were there, it was quite cool having a chat to Steve Waugh while waiting for a beer at the bar.

The next day was a fairly boring day waiting for our 8pm flight from Antigua back to London. We just lazed around the beach for a few hours, tried to spot topless girls, then sadly we had to farewell the
magnificent West Indies.

As I said earlier I had the time of my life, and if you have the means, I highly recommend that you start saving for the 2007 World Cup which will also be played in the West Indies
Wed 13/04/2005 Daniel Orken 112 views

0 Comments about this article

    Post a comment about this article

    Please sign in to leave a comment.
    Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.