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The Caribbean 1st & 2nd Test Match - Tour Review

I know there have been previous West Indies V Australia tour reviews, but none of included the first and second test matches, so here it goes:


We arrived into Guyana the night before the 1st Test match commenced. The first of our highlights came in the taxi from the airport to the hotel. There were road works happening so we asked our driver about them and he replied that part of the bridge had collapsed. When we asked when it had happened, he said last week…and we were driving over the part of the bridge that hadn’t collapsed.

We all had a remarkably low-key first night and planned to get up early and meet to walk to the ground as a group. We met at 8.30 and made it to the ground at 9 o’clock, as the match started at 10.05. We proceeded to the South Mound that was classed as the party area. In the Caribbean you can bring alcohol to the ground, so we all brought our duty free items with us.

A group of us created our own bar on the rickety seats and by lunch all the alcohol had been consumed. With help from Duncan, a local chap that had latched onto the group, we headed into town to purchase more alcohol. We purchased 2 x 750ml Vodkas, 1 x 500ml Rum, heaps of coke and OJ, all in all costing us only $25 Australian dollars…so you can imagine the bragging that was done to the others on our return to the ground.

I can’t tell you much about the match as I was taken back to the hotel just before tea (3pm) in a very drunken state, but here goes. West Indies won the toss and batted. They lost a couple of early wickets that brought Lara and Chanderpaul to the crease and both spanked the Aussies to all parts of the ground. Lara was dismissed, but Chanderpaul continued on. He made a century in only 69 balls but was injured by the same ball that he was dismissed with and was on the ground in pain for some time. We ended up getting them all out and at the end of the day Australia were 1-100 odd, with Punter and Alfie at the crease.

Day 2 was pretty modest because of the alcohol consumed the day before and because of the heat.

A few of the guys from the “Soprano’s” were badly burnt on the first day, so they spent the day in the shade of the stand. Both Punter and Alfie scored centuries, whilst Gilly made a quick fire 77. A BBQ at the hotel was organised for the group that night and we sang and drank more.

By day 3 the West Indies were batting again and Lara had scored a century. They had passed the runs the Aussies had made, with five wickets down, which meant we would have to bat again. There was to be a charity function on this night that both teams were to attend, but neither team showed up.

There was a DJ there playing the local music, as well as a band and when a heavy downpour came through; all the people went for cover, except us Aussies. The DJ mentioned the Aussies sitting out in the rain, which brought even more attention to us. So when the rain stopped, we where inundated with the locals wanting our autographs or photo’s taken with us.

Some of the locals actually thought the guys where the Australian team, which they went along with, and others just loved the fact that we where Australians. This continued for over an hour.

Eventually we all left very drunk and headed back to our respective hotels.

Day 4 was to be the last day of the test match. One of the highlights of the test match was seeing Chanderpaul and Jacobs batting with a runner each at the same time.

I’m not sure if this has ever happened before in a test match.

When I arrived at the ground, only 3 other fanatics were there. Not many arrived in time; in fact many missed the Aussies getting the Windies all out in the first 40 minutes of the days play. This provided an easy run chase for the Aussies and a fantastic victory that was capped off with a street party outside the ground. The locals were teaching us all how they dance and the guys were definitely enjoying it. When the crowd started dwindling, we headed back to our hotels to get ready and join the players at the Pegasus.

This was a time for us to mingle and meet the players and the majority of them hadn’t even changed out of their whites. A group of us started talking to Boof and we talked for ages and we all found him a really nice guy to talk to.

Binga played his guitar when the music finished at midnight and had everyone singing with him. With the guitar thumping, Boof and Clarkey ran and did bombs fully clothed into the hotel swimming pool. Woz then told me I should do it, which I declined, but did mention that I would do it if I had a jumping partner. Woz said he would, but when we went to do it, he stopped at the pool edge and I held on for grim death, legs dangling over the edge, determined not to go in unless he came in with me….made it!!

Cheech and I were the last of the group to leave at 3am with Binga still playing and singing.

What else happened?

·Duncan, a local chap that stayed and partied with the group the entire time in Guyana. Stewy nicknamed him Oyster.
·Pedro deciding to walk by himself from the street party to his hotel and getting mugged.
·The disgusting toilets at the ground, so walking to KFC to use their toilets.
·The song Passion that was played at least 5 times a day at the cricket....and was the song that I would get up and dance on the seats to.


Part of the group departed Guyana early and caught the same flight as both cricket teams.

The majority of us had the afternoon flight and when we arrived in Trinidad late afternoon a group of us decided to go to a casino.

They provide free alcohol whilst you’re gambling, so you can image how drunk everyone became. On the return to the hotel, the boys decided to run amuck. I had people running in and out of my room and then when it was locked, they started knocking. When I got up to answer it, I found a naked guy at my door.

He was expecting Scott to answer, but he had already passed out. I’m not sure what Dan was up to but he was very drunk and rolling around on the floor near the lifts. Everyone then headed back to their rooms and I was stuck trying to lock my door, when the night manager came up and said “It’s too late to be making this much noise”!!

Our second day in Trinidad was dedicated to sleeping in and resting.

That night we headed to Coconuts which was all you can drink on this night for $80 TT (or approx $25au). In the Caribbean they don’t measure spirits, they just free pour, so you can image the strength of the drinks. Once again we all were smashed and left at around 4.30am. Luckily Coconuts is situated at our hotel, so need for taxi’s to get home.

Brett Lee and Michael Clarke were out experiencing the local nightlife too!

The next day Scott woke me up to tell me that we were heading to Maracas Bay…the best beach on the island.

You can image how I was feeling after the previous nights drinking and having only a couple of hours sleep. We arrived there to find a few of the Aussie players already there; Punter, Tugga, Binga and Bichs. They didn’t stay long; they’d probably been there for a while.

The beach was fantastic and a few of the guys showed off their surfing skills by riding the waves. Two footballs made it onto the beach; one AFL and one league, which were kicked and passed around for some time before we decided to head back to the hotel. Once again we decided to head to Coconuts that night.

More people had arrived to join our tour, so we convinced them (not much convincing necessary though) to head to Coconuts to experience the atmosphere for themselves. Because the next day was Good Friday, the line to get in was huge and once you were in, you couldn’t move and it took forever to get your drinks.

The day before the 2nd Test match started, Kiwi (Ed) organised a cricket match with the people from the Trini Posse (the all you can drink stand that we would be attending for the next 5 days). The match was played at a school, just around the corner from Queens Park Oval.

The match was played with 13 players in each team and the Aussies batted first. Luke and Danny opened the batting; first ball 6 and Luke was out. Because we were using a tennis ball, the Trini guys were chucking it.

We soon realised that this was the only way to bowl the ball. Danny, who had opened the batting, decided to play bare feet. As it was a concrete pitch and was very hot, a blister formed on the bottom of his foot, and burst. He was in pain and couldn’t run and ended up being run out. The Aussies managed to make only 80 runs with Frankie (the drummer in Ritchie Richardson’s band) taking a hatrick with the last three batsmen…yours truly being stuck up the other end on 1 not out.

It was our turn to bowl now.

We managed to take a few early wickets, but the runs were flowing freely. One of the guys batting decided to go for a big hit, the ball was sailing over my head and I was running with the flight of the ball, wind swirling and took the catch.

All the guys came running in to congratulate, surprised looks on their faces, as they didn’t expect me to take the catch. That was the last ball of the over and I was then asked to bowl. Not confident on being able to chuck the ball, I bowled normally, with a bit of air and flight and they struggled. I ended up taking 2 wickets and was on a hatrick, but missed it.

Whilst we were fielding, Kiwi was chasing the ball and when he went to pick it up, ran head first into a parked car. I don’t think I’ve seen 30 odd people laughing so hard. The Trini boys ended up winning the match, but none of us cared, we’d been drinking through out and that continued well after the match had finished.

I tried to arrive early to the ground for Day 1 of the 2nd Test match to ensure we had good seats. Disco had organised a local taxi to collect us, so the driver came back and forth to collect people at different times…we nicknamed him Honest John!

Unfortunately when we arrived most of the seats in the shade were taken, so we’d be in the heat for all of the day. Because our seats were plastic chairs, they were breaking easy and Stuart’s was the first to hit the deck. We soon realised that you needed to have 2 chairs stacked on each other to prevent the chair legs doing the splits. We had Carib girls on stage dancing as soon as we arrived, right through to the end of the match.

The Aussies won the toss and decided to bat first.

We lost Haydos and Alfie fairly cheaply and this brought Punter and Boof to the crease and at lunch both were still in.

During the lunch break, a few Aussies decided to join the Carib girls on stage. Danny was up there and decided to pull his shorts down to reveal his Aussie togs. Disco joined the girls up there too and decided to form 69 using the 6 signs that were handed out.

The Aussie crowd were laughing but the locals we asking, “What does that mean”, which made us laugh even harder. It was a momentous occasion when Boof made is maiden test century and the crowd went wild. An Aussie guy even ran onto the ground to congratulate Boof and shook his hand before running back to the where he came from, jumping the fence and cutting his chest on the wire fence, all to elude the local police. Boof was eventually out for 160.

With about an hour to go in play, all chairs were moved and The Fanatics danced, stomped and sang, which pissed some of the locals off that were sitting near us…I’m not sure how much cricket was actually watched for that hour!

At the end of the days play Punter and Gilly were not out and the Aussies were 3-391 and most of the group headed to the Cricket Wicket, a pub situated across the road from the ground. That many people go there, that the crowd spills onto the road and the cars have to dodge all the drunken people. We stayed there for a couple of hours before heading to The Pelican where we continued drinking and dancing.

Day 2 of the match and there were nowhere near as many people in the Trini Posse Stand this day. Punter scored his first double century and Gilly who had come in late the previous night, made a century. We declared at 4-576 and had them 3 wickets down early. Lara who was trying to get his first ever century at his home ground (he’s from Trinidad) was dismissed for 91.

There were no Carib girls today, but that didn’t stop us getting on stage and dancing.

Danny, Carly and I decided to have drinking competitions. There were two stages to it. Firstly all drinks had to have straws and when you finished your drink you had to put the straw in your hat.

Have you ever tried to keep straws in your hat without them falling out?

Then whoever was the slowest drinking would have to go and get the next lot of drinks. By the end of the day I was so drunk that I stepped on an empty bottle and rolled my ankle…oops!! Needed someone to get ice but that didn’t stop me joining the group when once again near the end of the days play, we moved the chairs and sang and danced.

Our routine of the going to the Cricket Wicket and then the Pelican would continue.

At the Pelican we got up on the tables and were dancing on them until someone broke a table and bodies went flying everywhere. Nobody was injured, but we didn’t get back up and decided to head back to the hotel.

I arrived just on time to see the commencement of Day 3. The Carib girls were back and Disco once again joined them on stage. He had matching shorts and even fixed his t-shirt so it looked like a bikini. Darren Ganga made a century and we ended up getting them all out for 407. The Aussies are now batting and Alfie is already out and Punter and Haydos still at the crease. You know the routine; The Cricket Wicket and Pelican - the tradition continues.

This test match was definitely going to go five days.

Because the dates for this test match were changed a lot of people had flights leaving on the 5th day, me included. I tried to change flights but couldn’t, so I decided I would stay in Trinidad for longer so I could party after the match. At lunch a group of us decided to head into town to try and find an internet café. When we eventually found one, we all couldn’t get on, so some of the boys went to find a music store to copy my CD that I had purchased in Guyana.

I lost them and thought they had gone back to the ground. It was now 1.45 and the cricket had resumed an hour ago. I could now see the boys running down the street and we all went in search of a taxi.

A maxi taxi flashed his lights and I said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if it’s Honest John!” and it was. He put the cricket on the radio for us and Haydos was on 95 and then sped through town to get us back in time for his century. When we got to the ground we all ran as fast as we could to our gate to ensure we witnessed the century, which we did. When Haydos was on 95, Boof was on 34, and when the century eventually came, Boof was on 66; he had spanked 4’s and 6’s at will. When Boof went out, Tugga declared at 3-238, which gave the West Indies a chase of 407 to win. Again the Windies lost a few early wickets, but Brian Lara was not out overnight. You guessed it…we went to the Cricket Wicket and then the Pelican!

Day 5 of the match and the West Indies did well in the first session not losing a wicket. I can tell you, we were all a bit nervous, thinking that Tugga had declared too early the previous day, but after lunch wickets started falling. Brian Lara scored his first century on home soil but when he was dismissed, it looked bleak for the home side.

Stuart MacGill was fielding on the boundary and started doing poses for the Aussie crowd. When the Aussies WON we were allowed onto the ground. We took photos of the group and also the scoreboard and then headed over to the pitch to do an inspection. We took more photos of the pitch and of us pretending to bat. We also got to witness the after match presentations, which was fantastic.

We stopped in at the Cricket Wicket for a short time before heading back to our hotel to get ready for the nights huge party celebrations. Then we went to the Pelican for awhile before heading to Coconuts for the All you can drink again! It was packed and it took ages to get drinks, so I started ordering a couple at a time. It’s not good because you drink them even faster when you’ve got two. There were a lot of Windies and Aussie players there and all were really friendly.

I bumped into Boof and we talked for a while. I managed to get him on the dance floor for a song or two, but people kept coming up and asking for a photo or autographs.

The guy that ran onto the ground to congratulate Boof on his century came up and asked him to sign his chest, which Boof did. He had to be up early for an interview so he left when we finished dancing. I then went to get a drink and when I was at the bar, I was asked what I was drinking and I said Vodka and Orange. He told me I should be drinking rum. I mentioned that I’d been drinking rum non-stop for 5 days at the cricket and needed a change. I didn’t realise until later, that it was Ashley Noffke that I’d been speaking to. Once again we all got very drunk and left there at 5am.

What else happened?

·A few of the boys organising two-up at The Pelican on Anzac Day
·The meals that were frozen and then heated in the microwave at the Pelican that was surprisingly nice.
·The shooting outside Coconuts the day after we checked out, but most of us were still in Trinidad.
·Five of us crammed into a room the day after the test match concluded watching the movie Super Troopers (a must see)and rolling around in hysterics!!

Overview of Barbados (not previously mentioned):

·Paying a guy on the street for a map of all the Happy Hour bars near our hotel.
·Having a barman walk around at Harbour Lights pouring Pink Pussy into your mouth
·Getting mugged on the beach outside Harbour Lights
·Playing beach cricket with the locals, and then producing a tennis ball half taped.
·Alfie hitting a six into our stand and a guy taking the catch one handed and not spilling a drop of beer that was in his other hand.
·The locals who bought a keg and then charged $30 Barbados for all you can drink and making so much money on the first day that for the rest of the test match the alcohol was free.
·The Steve Waugh century and Brock running onto the ground with a football to congratulate him
·Home Delivered KFC
·Beach cricket near the Carib Bar and me taking a specky in the water and having everyone on the beach clapping.

Overview of Antigua (not previously mentioned):

·Passing out at Shirley Heights after drinking Red Squares (Vodka & Red Bull) all day and then staying with a Pom on a yacht in the harbour.
·The mechanical horse race at the Casino at our hotel.
·Stewy jumping on the ground when Chanderpaul got his century and getting tackled by the police and breaking his leg and ankle.
·The film crew constantly interviewing me during the last two test matches!

I had a fantastic time during my 5 weeks in the Caribbean. Because of this tour I have made great friends and to my room mates Scott and Naomi, thanks for putting up with me. To the unofficial roomy, Speedy…what do I get for you using my bed whilst I was out partying?? I met incredible people and enjoyed spending time with everyone. By far, I found the Trinidad test match the best. The people were magnificent and the whole atmosphere of the place was astounding. See you all in four years time.
Wed 13/04/2005 Janine Mcfarlane 126 views

1 Comments about this article

  • that sounds like so much fun! i woudlnt mind going on the 08 windies tour just need someone to go with!

    Posted by Josh Beaven Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:01am AEST

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