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WORD OF MOUTH Dispatches from our correspondents around the Caribbean


bake, and saltfish, sometimes even a proper Sunday lunch. Test match or One Day International,


win, lose, or draw — it was a party in the stands for days, with some cricket- watching thrown in. But don’t think any part of the match escaped unnoticed. You could walk into the stand at 3 pm and ask the most intoxicated-looking person for the score, and you’d get it — plus a ball- by-ball commentary on the day’s play so far, together with historical stats. Make no mistake: we are serious about our cricket. Fast forward to 2014. All the Oval’s


Take a stand


At West Indies cricket grounds, the game is only half the fun. Denise Chin enjoys the party at Port of Spain’s Queens’ Park Oval


T


he camaraderie in the stands at any West Indies cricket ground is legendary. But at the Queens’ Park


Oval in Port of Spain — home of the famous Trini Posse — you’ll find the biggest cricket lime of them all. Back in the day, before the Oval was refurbished to include corporate boxes and private stands, spectators had a simple choice: covered or uncovered stands, and if you were an Oval member, you could hang out in the pavilion. The covered stands were for those who wanted to watch cricket with some measure of comfort, and, well, silence. The uncovered stands, while also very appealing to serious-minded cricket fanatics, were for the limers. Many fantastic cricket days were


24 WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


had in the old Republic Bank stand, which boasted a view comparable to the pavilion’s on the opposite side. If you wanted a special spot, you had to get there early. Coolers the size of small bedrooms would be there from 6 am. And sitting on your cooler was not an option — you’d be asking for a severe cussout from whoever was behind you. For the foodies, the best matches were


the ones against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India, when all our Indian friends we met the year before would return with extra helpings of sada roti, bhagi, melongene, buljol, and sometimes curry duck and goat to pass around. For other international matches, there was plenty of pelau, pies,


concrete stands have been broken down, and a lot of the older crew are now ensconced in their corporate boxes. But the partying options are vast. Many of the stands around the Oval still allow small coolers, so large posses come out in their numbers, mainly for the shortened versions of the game. The Test and ODI matches are still immensely popular, but twenty-over games have now taken the cricket world by storm. Young people come for the adrenalin rush, and to maybe learn a thing or two about the game. Also worth mentioning is the undeniable fact that the players are getting better- and better-looking by the second, so the young ladies are eager to check out the action. The popular Trini Posse stand is the


best option for hassle-free entertainment. While the tickets aren’t cheap, the fun is limitless. Lunchtimes turn into mini fetes. The bars are full of everything you could want. There’s usually a few local celebrities ducking in to check out the scene, and the media box keeps their cameras trained on the stand, so make sure you look amazing. After the first few hours, you’ll know


everything about the people you’re sitting next to, no matter which side they’re supporting. The DJ cranks it out at every opportunity. Although half of


the Trini


Posse stand is uncovered, no one feels the heat — and when the rains come, no one is upset. For any fun-loving cricket fan, the experience is not one to miss. You’ll reminisce about it over and over until your next party — umm, cricket match.


DARREN CHEEWAH


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