Cricket is my game, so you bet, I had to dedicate a page to Jamaican cricket. I play cricket most weekends, on or off season-it doesn't matter and my team, Granville Cricket Club, out of Montego Bay, tours the entire island. Yep!
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Cricket in Jamaica, and by extension, the Caribbean (West Indies) is fanatic. The excitement gets fever pitch, especially with the thumping reggae music in the background, and the chanting of slangs from every corner of the stadium or park.
Cricket here, however, goes way back to 1895, when Jamaica played three matches against a touring side from England led by Slade Lucas, but because of the distance to the other cricketing countries, Jamaica did not play regular first-class cricket until 1964.
We played in the inaugural Shell Shield first-class competition in the Caribbean, winning it on the fourth attempt, but then had to wait until 1977-78 for our next title - which was a shared one-day title with Leeward Islands.
Jamaica has always been one of the regional teams to rekon though, as we have always produced talented and excellent cricketers but was not always able to live up to the high expectation many times as a team.
Our main cricketing venue is Sabina Park but there are several smaller venues around the island, including the Alpart Sports Club Ground in St Elizabeth, Kensington Park in Kingston, Jarrett Park in Montego Bay, Chedwin Park in Spanish Town and more recently, The Trelawny Multipurpose Sports Center in Trelawny.
By the way the Trelawny Multipurpose Sports Club was home of the opening ceremony of the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean.
I went to one of the warm up matches there, here are some of the pictures.
Some of our prominent Jamaican cricketers (and who represented the West Indies team) includes Jimmy Adams, Jeff Dujon, George Headley, Michael Holding, Lawrence Rowe, Courtney Walsh and Chris Gayle.
Headley though, a star from the 1930s, is argued to be our most famous cricketer. One of my favourite though was Ricardo Powell (Pow Pow), who played for us and then moved to Trinidad [He found his love there :-) ], however he did not deliver the goods at all.
Although not a Jamaican, Brian Lara, world record holder, is my cricketing idol. [I had to add this note]
Currently, cricket competes strongly with the other local sports for the quality players here in Jamaica, but we have a very strong under-15 competition running now, and we have already seen a few quality youth cricketers emerging from it. The future of Jamaican cricket is not looking too bad after all.
Remember to take a look at a few of the pictures I took at the World Cup warm up match here
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