A High Wind in Babylon

Market Harborough v Leicester Caribbean, County Cup, Fairfield Road, 29th May 2011

A brief note on a match I attended on Sunday.  I can’t verify this (because I can’t find a list of winners online), but from my memory of the honours boards at Grace Road, Leicester Caribbean pretty much dominated the County Cup from soon after their inception in 1958 until the 1980s, when, presumably, the supply of first generation immigrants began to dry up and the youth began to turn to football and basketball instead.

They now find themselves in reduced circumstances, in the same league as Great Glen and Wigston.  It’s also worth noting that there is now no club from the City of Leicester left in the Premier Division of the Everard’s League (apparently Ivanhoe don’t count).

Only two of these Caribbeans appeared to be of the Afro- variety (the senior-looking captain and the wicket-keeper).  I’m aware that West Indians of Indian ancestry, from Ramhadin to Chanderpaul, have played an important part in the history of cricket in the region, but my guess would be that expecting Caribbean to have any connection with the West Indies will soon become like expecting Ivanhoe’s players to work on the Ivanhoe Line. 

If not quite like expecting I Zingari to be representative of the travelling community.     

One thing that did connect them to Caribbean was a rather natty helmet in Rastafarian colours – seen here, nestling in some fallen blossom –

Another indication that these Caribbeans were probably home-grown was their imperviousness to the biting wind whipping in off the allotments.  I can’t imagine Chris Gayle performing well in these conditions.

I stuck it until tea, when Harborough had scored (from memory) 285 in their 40 overs with a display of what used to be called calypso cricket (i.e. tonking it all over the place).  I can’t find any record of the Caribbeans’ reply, but I doubt whether they’ll be making any further progress in this competition.   


Coming soon on this blog – in a week that has seen a serious outbreak of collapsing in Cardiff, we report on similar outbreaks in Tunbridge Wells (on Monday) and Northampton (this afternoon).  We ask – are these outbreaks connected?  Can anything be done about it? 

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