Just got back from a day of beer and beach cricket, at Antigua’s Runaway Bay, that helped us to forget the fiasco – rather than renowned Caribbean “calpyso” – cricket of yesterday . . . the shortest match in Test cricket’s 132-year history.
The second Test, between West Indies and England, at the new Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, was abandoned after a mere 14 minutes and 1.4 overs (for Americans, that’s ten pitches). The staggering incompetence of the Antiguan cricket authorities, in not preparing a suitable outfield, was best summed up (as many things are) by Sir Geoffrey Boycott: “They can’t even organise beach cricket, let alone Test cricket – they’d probably arrange it for when the tide is coming in.” The words “piss up” and “brewery” also come to mind. Though, I suppose it was Friday the thirteenth.
Chatting up footballer Emile Heskey’s cousin (right) in the pub afterwards was only small consolation . . . especially since, as my kind friend John pointed out, she was more Sol Campbell than Naomi.
I spent the entire ten hour flight from Tel Aviv to New York, on Monday, engaged in a titanic struggle for control of the arm-rest with the “Monkey” (the generic name I assign to certain types [the majority] of Israeli men) sitting next to me. And, as in the recent conflict in Gaza, no clear victor emerged. Now, I admit to having a problem with many of the locals in Israel. I have an even bigger problem, however, with those who have left (including “Monkey” and, it seemed, the majority of Monday’s flight). Israel’s human exports – unlike those of its fruit – are, on the whole, not the choicest. Moreover, while it is complete prejudice, being a diehard Zionist, I just don’t like Israelis who leave Israel. And, whenever I used to hear them in London, I always had a strong urge to tell them to “go home”.
New York City is a wonderful place. It is not the most beautiful city on earth. Nor are its restaurants or nightlife the best. And the city’s residents won’t win any awards for being the most charming or interesting. It does possess, however, a certain indefinable magic, quite unlike any other city I have been to, and some day I hope to spend more time there.
I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art – where I was somewhat disturbed at being far more preoccupied with our sultry WASPish tour guide than any of the works of the Great Masters she was attempting to illuminate (male nature . . . or philistinism?!) – and also Ground Zero.
Over seven years since 9/11 (and six since my last visit to the site), you know what I thought when I saw the photos of, and memorials to, all those innocent and brave civilians and firefighters? I thought “You murdering fucking Muslim bastards” (no asterisk this time). Apologies for nothing more profound . . . but that is what I thought. And, since that horrible, horrible day, the bastards have only become more radical. (Before the “PC brigade” start accusing me of racism, they would do well to remind themselves of the hijackers’ religion, and the name in which they carried out their demonic acts.)
Anyway, thankfully for me and the eight thousand-strong Barmy Army (travelling England cricket supporters), the Test match has been rescheduled for tomorrow, at the old Antigua Recreation Ground. I only hope it goes ahead this time. Otherwise, we will have to spend even more time on Antigua’s white sandy beaches, playing cricket and drinking beer . . . and who would want that?!