Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dominica wins despite Windies defeat

By Thomson Fontaine

Much has been written about the current state of West Indies cricket, and the most recent showing by our cricketers against the lowest ranked test cricketing nation in the world can only add to the problems of a once mighty West Indies.
bangladesh cricket team
The victorious Bangladesh team.

Despite its current failings, West Indies cricket got a huge shot in the arm when thousands of Dominicans showed up on two separate days to support the game of cricket.

Indeed, the over twenty thousand who showed up on Sunday and Tuesday for the two one day internationals would have suspected that the West Indies would probably lose. After all, they had just been beaten by Bangladesh 2 – 0 in the test series; a historic first for Bangladesh.

The West Indies team was variously referred to as second rate, or second string as the first team sat out the series in protest over pay issues. Dominicans were particularly aggrieved when their ace player, spin bowler Shane Shillingford, who took sixty wickets in the Regional Tournament, could not command a spot on the team.

For the cricketing public however, who were denied first class cricket for over thirty-three years, none of these issues was sufficient to keep them away from the Windsor Park. The first game was on Sunday and the other on Tuesday was declared a public holiday by government. And so they came, from the villages and towns around Dominica to witness and be a part of cricketing history.

The turnout for the two days of cricket in Dominica is all the more remarkable when you consider that cricketing fans stayed away from the test matches in St Vincent and Grenada. Television cameras showed empty stadiums in the two countries as the hapless West Indies were pummeled by a youthful Bangladesh side. It was difficult to watch both the performance on the field and the actions of the sporting public.

Although not having any players on the team, the appreciative crowd came to see their local hero, elite cricket umpire Billy Doctrove take center stage. Just two weeks ago, he was at the center of the action in the Ashes series at Lords, when England finally won against Australia at this venue for the first time since 1934. That particular contest reminded me of all the reasons why cricket is such a beautiful game; the uncertainty, the intense competition, the rivalry.

Dominica was expected to be different and it was. Visiting commentators described the grounds as perhaps the most beautiful cricketing venue in the world. The ten thousand seat stadium was filled to capacity on both days. Brilliant sunshine prevailed except for a brief period on Tuesday when a sudden shower disappeared just as quickly as it came, having no impact on the game’s outcome.

The two beautiful days in Dominica will not heal West Indies cricket nor return the team to its former glory. The success in Dominica given the public’s unbridled love of the game, does however point to some potentially good things. Hopefully, Dominica will get test matches in the future.

Cudos to Emanuel Nanton and the Dominica Cricket Association for a job well done. Much however remains to be done with respect to accommodations. The beauty of the venue and the guaranteed crowds does not undo the fact that with only 800 hotel rooms we are unlikely to host either the Australians or the British anytime soon.

But, Bangladesh was a start, a good one. If anything it provided a glimpse of what can be achieved and the kind of benefits to be derived from hosting a top international sporting event in the Nature Isle.

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I agree with you on the future matches. Without at least three first class hotels we can never get any of the big matches. The authorities would do well to work the stadium into a more comprehensive tourism strategy for Dominica.
Tourism Strategy...what is WCMF
Thank you to the Chinese who provided the accomodations. The Stadium is a blessing. Thank you God for allowing the prime minister to beg the Chinese's governement.
Great article!
Cudos to the Chinese people and government for such a wonderful stadium.
Cudos to the government of Dominica and the cricket authority.
Cudos to the party stand organizers and the many other organizers.
Cudos to the WI players who decided to play and not seat out for more pay.
And a special cudos to the Dominican people for supporting the sport above all as its not money or flashy names that make the sport what it is but simple love of the game!
Shirley girl, you should be there to see how over twenty thousands dominicans were having fun in the stadium skerrit and the chinese built for us. I never see dominicans having so much fun.

We voting back skerrit wee
I wonder how many years it will take for Shirley to see the stadium. She might next week ,who knows but she can't go back to ATL
Shirley, Wake up! When are you coming to see our nice stadium? Don't wait on the UWP to get back in office because they Fini-bat.
It was well worth the effort coming down to Dominica from England to be a part of history in the making in my country. I knew when I left England that there was no chance of a West Indies win with the "B" team - but I live in Egbaston, the second home of international cricket in England - so I came to Dominica for Dominica - to support our hosting of the games. May God continue to bless Dominica and all Dominicans, always, Amen.
Why are some people so low minded? what has shirley do to you all ?fr every conversation her name has to be called?let the woman live her life with her kids and grand kids of which she enjoy so much.Stop taking her joys and make all you sorrow.Thats one sister that dont mix matters so please leaseplease let her be her own self and have never to worry about the things that are being said her about and to her .Thank you Dominican people that hate her that much
AMEN my brother LA Touche. That is what you call patritism. You talk but you put your money where your mouth is in support of Dominica.

May the Good Lord continue to bless you always.

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