Apologies for the tardiness of this match review however this was due to circumstances beyond my control. Well, not really, but hey none of allyuh paying me so you’ll take what you get. Anyway, this is a tale of how I left home to play a cricket match in Port of Spain and ended up in an emergency room down South.
Firstly, yes the match did indeed take place despite the threat of tropical storm Gonzalo (which turned out be as much of a bake as Gonzalo Higuain), as well as the recent flare up (like a bad jock itch) of local spread cases of Covid-19. However, there was a change of venue because the Savannah pitch was a disaster. The weather teased us with hot sun until about 11am and then the sky “buss” like a WASA main with no hope of getting fixed any time soon…also like a WASA main.
An executive decision was made to relocate the game to Esmeralda Recreation Ground. Yeah I know, Esmeralda?? I had no idea where that was and how were we going to reach quite down South with time to play the game. Plus apparently the ground wasn’t fully prepared but would take only a “few minutes” to fix up. I should have known that was the equivalent of a trini “just now” or “I’m close”. Fast forward past us pulling a heavy roller across the pitch by hand like we building the pyramids while men wives watching and laughing like they’re Anck-Su-Namun, we took to the field as Fatima opted to bat first. This is where things went haywire.
Fatima’s opening pair were beating our bowling like we thief something. It also didn’t help that the ground was waterlogged which raised the unmistakable aroma of cow dung. Our bowling (mine to a lesser extent) went for quite a few boundaries. Although I believe I prepared a perfect excuse previously…meh shoulder and all nah. Anyway, the bigger of the two gentlemen, the one with the smaller rum belly, was facing our off spinner and slashed at a ball outside his off stump. The ball careened off his bat like a rocket to the right of where I was in the gully. Yes that’s a real cricket position not just the area in Jamaica that Mavado likes to sing about.
That’s when I made the first of two mistakes. First, I decided it was a good idea to dive to my right to catch the ball, doh mind these days my body fragile like it made of gypsum and any impact could do real damage. The second mistake was to get my hand to the ball. The ball was hit with such ferocity that any miscalculation could be painful, and painful it was.
Cue the blood. As a seasoned cricketer I knew immediately what had happened. The ball hit me between by middle and ring fingers on my right hand and the seam split the webbing between those fingers. Long story not as long, I needed stitches. The wife wanted to post the gory images of the actual injury but instead below you can see the aftermath of my visit to the emergency room at Medical Associates in Chaguanas (yup in the South again).
Three stitches and over two grand in medical bills later (thank the Lord for insurance), I went back to the ground to support the team and was even willing to bat but they refused to let me. Despite me explaining that I could bat with one hand and that Virat Kohli managed to bat with stitches and make 75 runs not out in 51 balls, I was met with the disrespectful comment “just because you have the same bat don’t mean you’re Kohli”.
So to wrap up this commentary, I didn’t actually catch the ball and the dude I dropped went on to make 82 of their 172 total in 20 overs. I only returned from treating my injury near the end of our innings but from what I could tell after a promising start there was absolute carnage in our middle order. Sort of West Indies-esque. We did have one young recruit near the end that made over 50 and played some great T20 shots. He was batting like a pensioner in a rum shop.
We managed a respectable 142 and I was told Fatima benefited from some questionable decisions from OUR umpire. However, as I’ve said before, if we lost it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about camaraderie and nation building. Despite my injury the bigger pain was to my pride and competitive spirit.
We will ketch them in the rematch.