SPORTS : FEARLESS ONE IN THE BOX – THE FIRST ONE DAYER- WEST INDIES VERSUS SRI LANKA – THE PREAMBLE, PREVIEW----
By Andre E Baptiste
---- TIME TO MAKE SRI LANKA PAY ------
I am sitting in the middle of the lobby, unaware or pretending to be unaware that people are staring. It’s not that I look out of place, with my floor-length black leather overcoat and gold-rimmed sunglasses. It’s that I look famous. I also look like a younger, fitter, toothier version of ……...
On certain nights, when I was a boy, I used to lie in bed in the dark, unable to sleep, because of eyes – staring, glowing eyes, arrayed in a sphere all around me, not like the dastardly, conniving EYES OF Mattie Muralitharan , the embattled Sri Lanka spinning champion , who has been conveniently rested for this three match one day series. The eyes seemed to be alive, though they were not visibly attached to bodies or to faces. They were so to speak, attached to emotions either: they conveyed no menace, no affection, no curiosity, and no consternation. They simply watched me with vigilance as steady and beautiful as the shining stars at night.
Because their beauty was so evident, the eyes would not have troubled me were it not for this: I could not escape them. They had the ability to go on staring whether my own eyes were open or shut; they could in other words move with me from the real into the imaginary world.
The crowds at the Queens Park Oval will come in their numbers to watch their hometown heroes Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin and Keiron Pollard. There will be men and women of all sizes, all shapes, all ready for a celebration, winning is not the issue or a factor for over 70% of those present at both matches, the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean want to have a “ball”.
It will therefore be an eye-popping time ( Today and Saturday), because the English speaking Caribbean needs to face the reality, Trinidad and Tobago possesses the most beautiful women, and they will all be at the Queens Park Oval.
As a journalist, you need to have a good eye for a story and there will be several journalists pretending to be working in the media box. In fact one journalist told me this on Wednesday, that he had I lost an old friend the other day. He was blue-eyed, impish; he cried a lot with him, laughed a lot with him, saw a great many things with him. He didn’t don’t know why he left him, Boredom, perhaps.
They read a lot of books together, they did a lot of crossword puzzles together, and they saw films together. They had a pretty exciting life. They saw Vivian Richards hit a century when they were both 12 years old. They saw Michael Holding rip apart Geoffrey Boycott, They saw Larry “Mr. Dependable” Gomes at his best in the 1980’s. He saw Leslie “Tiger” Stewart wake up and win a World title. I thought he led a pretty good life.
You see, the friend he lost was his eye. His good eye. The other eye, the right one, he has been carrying for years. We just let him tag along like Don Quixote’s nag. It’s been a long time since he could read the number on a right back or tell whether a ball was in or out or even which fighter was down.
So, one blue eye is missing and the other misses a lot.
It is the great word of the twentieth century. If there is a singly word our century has added to the potentiality of language, it is ego. Everything we have done in this century, from monumental feats to nightmares of human destruction, has been a function of that extraordinary state of the psyche which gives us authority to declare we are sure of ourselves when we are not.
· West Indies and Sri Lanka have played each other only six times in the Caribbean, with Sri Lanka winning four and West Indies two.
· The previous bilateral series in the West Indies between the two was won by Sri Lanka 2-1
· West Indies and Sri Lanka have played two matches at the Queen's Park Oval, with both teams winning a game each. Coincidentally, the victory margin was the same - 35 runs
The West Indies need to salvage their pride; they need to pick themselves up. We owe it as West Indians to have our revenge on Sri Lanka for knocking us out of the World Cup in the last eight years
So we as we aim for victory, let us maintain our great memories, left by great West Indian teams of the past. This West Indies team couldn’t take those with them. They just took the future with them and the present. They couldn’t take the past.
We don’t know why the great West Indies team had to go. I thought we were all pals. I thought the things we did together we enjoyed doing together. Sure, we cried together. There were things to cry about, but they were good things for the benefit of the Caribbean people, when will these bunch of players realize their roles?
Oh, I have just been joined by …….I will have to continue this later.