Sunday, 1 March 2009

Welcome to the Kensington Entertainment Complex & Integrated Visitor Experience

Oh and you may also find some cricket somewhere.

I haven't been to Kensington for a little while, but watching the 4th Test online, I realize that there is now a man-made beach at the Oval? Man-made beach. In Barbados. Not just in Barbados - if they had put it in St. George or St. Thomas one might be able to understand - but does someone want to cast a glance just north of the Oval? Because if you do, you'll realize that Brandon's beach is right there! You can probably sit in the stands and with a good wind, throw a fishcake right into the water at Brandon's. What is going on? What kind of attention-deficit issues require that you combine the beach experience with First Class cricket?

Yes, cricket in the West Indies is a party experience, with our rum and conch shell-blowing and music in the stands. But those are reasonable accompaniments to the game. Now we have a beach and volleyball court and a swimming pool on the fine-leg boundary. I hate the word 'purist': I like to think that I'm adaptable and down with the future and all that. But since when is cricket not enough? I realize that we're trying to get all fancy with our tourism product and over-stimulate the poor tourists so that they keep spending money in a haze of confusion. And that we're also trying to attract young people to the game. But there's a way that we do cricket in the Caribbean that is unique to us and would presumably be what people want when they go to watch cricket in the Caribbean.

And how long have we been providing EPL football updates over the PA system? As readers of this blog will know, I love me some football, but when you get to Kensington, it's time for cricket. If people want football updates, let them check their iPhones. Grumpy, aren't I? All I need right now is a stick to shake and some young people to yell at to get off my lawn.

Maybe I'm just jealous. Barbados was already the best place in the world to watch cricket, and now you people have a pool and beach and all I have in the way of atmosphere outside my window is a "bird sanctuary" that looks suspiciously like a plain old swamp. I should be less plaintive and more proactive, like this guy. I haven't experienced this new Kensington first-hand, so I'm reserving final judgment until then. But I don't like the looks of it, I tell you.

Am I just being ornery? Cricket fans: opine here.

Painting by Nigel Pierre.


  1. Let us not forget the admission fee of BBD$175 to enter this party stand, obviously catering for a select few. Barbados vs England is being promoted along the lines of a crop over or a congaline......more of a festival to earn foreign exchange rather than the joy of the sport.

    Positive or negative impact on the sport?? Might be a bit too early to confirm at this stage.

  2. I hear you grainjah. The thing is, whatever it is the authorities are trying to do to create this circus atmosphere (attract young people to the game, give tourists the best of both worlds, make money for the venue... whatever) it isn't working.

    The young people that are showing up are simply using it as another event to clique up and dress up and pose. The cricket is STILL being ignored. I can't claim to be a big cricket fan - don't know the difference between a silly midon and an over - and I know all about the party atmosphere that makes cricket in the Caribbean our own.

    But at what point do you draw the line between fiddling with a marketing concept and starting to cheapen and distract from the main event entirely?

    Not to mention the hypocrisy of claiming that 'tings tight' then to spend what sounds like exhorbitant amounts of money on tickets for an event you're not even going to watch!

    But to be fair, it isn't a blame thing. Its just very bizarre!


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