Firstly I would like to apologise for the lack of blogs, the reason being is that I was having such a great time with all the clients new and old on an extremely busy tour I couldn’t fit it in!
I did start writing but there was so much going on that was as far as I got! But now I’m back in Blighty I will publish a two part round up firstly……….. The test series…….
The tour kicked off in Barbados, all of us expecting a clean sweep of victories, on the eve of the match I had a conversation with Dominic Warne from WICB who said WI had improved considerably since our last visit especially Jason Holder and also added for the first time in recent years, they had a good change of bowlers! He was not wrong. Whether it was that or a combination of England not being fully prepared and that the expectation amongst the players was that they would roll over I don’t know. We were well beaten and with only Ireland to play before the Ashes, who are probably not the strongest opposition, it does not bode well but we have to play them sometime.
We had many events starting at the fabulous Copacabana in Barbados with a Q&A which included Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, & the most recently knighted cricketer Sir Charlie Griffith. Dominic our 3rd tour manager, as ever, did a great job asking a variety of questions extracting some controversial replies from our guests. Many of the questions were gathered from the tour group.
Our next event was something completely different, a party at Gordon Greenidge’s house! A typical Caribbean house party with plenty of local food and rum punch flowing. Gordon held an auction for a cricket bat signed by Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes, Wes Hall, Desmond Haynes, Cammie Smith and of course Gordon to raise money for local projects which was very well supported by our 50 plus clients who attended.
We had our second customer cricket match at Carlton CC – Desmond Haynes home ground – which produced some interesting play! We managed to get two mixed teams out, had a good match, a few beers afterwards and raised some much needed funds for the club!
Sara organised a trip for the ladies who were not going to cricket on day 2 which included a pottery, art gallery, commercial flower nursery and lunch on the east coast at the oldest hotel on the island……
Probably the highlight of events was our beach party in Antigua, starting off with Spirited band with the lead guitarist being none other then Sir Richie Richardson. Curtly Ambrose is normally the bass player but was in Australia competing in Dancing with the Stars so sadly he was not there. Dominic ran a fascinating Q&A with Sir Richie and Sir Andy Roberts. Another auction took place for one of Judith Pedersen’s wonderful paintings with the proceeds going to The Childrens Cricket Charity run by Tamara from Australia. She shipped an entire container of kit to the island for distribution to schools and clubs. Then it was back to the dance floor, with a sunset backdrop, typical Caribbean barbecue even our Richard was involved. I did take the mickey, but to be honest he was quite good! It all ended far too early but with dawn flights to St Lucia or a catamaran cruise in place for many the next day we all went home to bed. Luckily the video of me dancing during the ODI’s taken by my friend Chris Gayle will not be published in this blog but watch this space!
St Lucia played an important part in the series, a new destination for most and the first time an England Test had been played there which made our win even sweeter. At the Harbor Club in St Lucia, we had our end of tour dinner. Another Q&A with Dean Wilson & Darren Gough who was excellent and highly entertaining. This was a very special evening which completed a great tour, to finish the evening I was presented with a cake, for a poignant birthday.
Once again it was great to catch up with old friends and meet new friends, I have already had a few calls on my return, please keep in touch, I love hearing from you…..This summers Whats App group will be in action shortly so we can meet up around the grounds featuring ICC World Cup and Ashes matches.