Fewer than 2000 fans show for the ENTIRE West Indies & South Africa Test. Cricket.com looks at why…

Excellent article by Michelle McDonald of Cricket.com

Less than 200 fans on Sunday! What went wrong?

Do you know anyone who attended the recent West Indies – South Africa Test for even a few hours?

Nope, we at Barbados Free Press don’t know anyone either.

We’ve seen the articles in the Bajan media over the past few months lamenting the death of Bajan cricket, but we’ve also seen the boys out as usual everywhere having fun, growing and challenging themselves and their friends.

Cricket in Barbados is not dead, but something decidedly unhealthy is happening at the professional level and we’re not sure how to fix it. How do you put the soul back into what used to be a party and is now a wake?

If Bajan cricket were a garden I’d say weed it, fertilize and give it lots of water… but things are obviously a whole lot more complex than that when we recently spent a half a billion dollars plus of public money on the sport and 167 paying people show up for a highly-advertised and media-promoted international test. Now I know why all the local coverage showed only close-ups of players and fans.

Did the Cricket World Cup disaster leave such a bad taste in our mouths? Was it football that kept fans at home? Why don’t we feel like going to Kensington anymore?

Michelle McDonald of Cricket.com went looking for the answers. She spoke with Barbados Cricket Association VP Conde Riley and threw in a good dose of her own observations. The article is an excellent start, but we’d love to see Michelle take a big-picture look at Bajan cricket, where we’ve been, where we are and then talk with everyone about how we can get the magic back. What do you say, Cricket.com? Will you give Michelle the job?

“Most cricket lovers are generally sports enthusiasts.  That must have been a factor in their decision to stay away from Kensington Oval for the third and final Test match between the West Indies and South Africa. Spoiled for choice with the exciting Football World Cup, Wimbledon and the less popular European Grand Prix taking place, we counted less than 200 persons in the stands during the post-lunch session on Sunday – Day 2. It was even worse on Day 3.

Could the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) have implemented any initiatives which may have encouraged more spectators to leave their houses?  What action did they take when they realized what other sporting activities they were up against?  CaribbeanCricket.com went in search of answers…”

… read Michelle McDonald’s entire article at Cricket.com: Football trumps Cricket


Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Sports

11 responses to “Fewer than 2000 fans show for the ENTIRE West Indies & South Africa Test. Cricket.com looks at why…

  1. Bad man saying nuttin

    England and Germany played Sunday morning in a knockout winner take all.

    Argentina played in the afternoon. Brazil played on Monday. That’s all you need to know. Football is by far the most popular sport in Barbados. When you add a world class do or die fixture there can be no competition.

  2. Goldenbead

    I agree with Bad man. That coupled with the fact that the West Indies team is an embarrassment makes this particular test match not worth watching.

  3. Head man

    Prices are too high.

  4. sick of **it

    Don’t try to blame FIFA…. only WICB and our players should take the blame!

    I am a cricket regular and also travel to watch cricket having supported MY team in Antigua, Guyana, Trinidad and Grenada….but I’m not going any more to see our West Indies idiots because I’m sick of **it!

    sick of our excuse for a captain Chris Fail
    sick of our “leaders” Dummy Julian Hunte. who couldn’t get another job anywhere
    sick of Ramnarine and WIPA
    sick of the BCA “percentage men” Conde Riley and Timmy Boyce.

    Clear enough….I am on sick leave from West Indies Cricket!

  5. Robinson

    The WICB and WIPA have destroyed west indies cricket.

    Useless buggers.

  6. rasta man

    Wait till the proverbial ……. hits the fan in South Africa after spending US 4 billion on World Cup.They could never make that back in 100 years, just like the west Indies governments who spent millions on a losing venture

  7. Facts

    The low turn out has nothing to do with money or the football world cup.

    No one follows losers.

    If the West Indies team were on par (not even better than) with the higher teams, Kensington would have been filled to capacity.

    The West Indies are a sorry bunch of losers.

    If they intend to go anywhere soon, they need to train harder.

    If they are representing a world -class sport, they need to train like world-class athletes.

    Until then, you can shuffle managers, players and even Boards, but that will get us nowhere.

    They need to train harder!


    I’m a long-standing, die-hard cricket fan, some would say a stupid one too. I attended on Saturday. Sunday is a day of worship and I don’t split it anymore by attending any sports event.

    I was thinking about going to KO on Monday, but the WI were playing so poorly that this plan was shelved. Stayed home instead and listened to the game on radio while simultaneously watching the football games on TV. Ditto Tuesday when the WI patient finally succumbed and gave up the ghost.

    The $50.00 which I paid on Saturday was an outrage, in my view. The price should’ve been reduced to say,$20.00 or even $10.00. The team is playing so poorly that it’s only the few hard-core cricket fans who will attend nowadays.

    ‘Facts’ is correct: if the WI were playing smart, competitive, never-say-die cricket, the turnout would’ve been greater, football or no football. Fans like winners, or at least teams which will fight an opponent the proverbial tooth and nail. When this is absent, borderline fans will be absent too.

    As stated previously, only cricket fools such as myself will attend when the WI team win,lose or draw. And they aren’t enough of us in Bim to fill even a small section of one of the stands.

    Something’s got to be done about the impoverished state of WI cricket and mucho rapido, like yesterday. Trouble is, no one has all the answers. What may be needed as such is for some brave, enterprising soul with some time on his hands, to organize town meetings around the various territories, in order to solicit suggestions about how the game we love may be saved.

    Maybe for starters, a petition drive to obtain signatures calling for the ouster of Dr. Hunte and his incompetent cronies could be done. Perhaps such a movement would take on a life of its own and somebody who loves cricket and posseses some workable ideas about how to tackle the problems would be thrown up as leader. We need to take back our cricket from the incompetents filling their palates on Factory Road.

  9. 249

    Time to have people who have common sense and integrity running our cricket. Too many sycophants are living off WI and Barbados cricket.

  10. 156

    I’ve visited Barbados 5 times (I’m from the UK) and arrived on the Saturday when the test match started.

    I did think about going to watch, but decided against it in the end, but…

    – I asked at the hotel front desk about tickets. They did not even know a test match was happening at the Oval!

    – When I informed that it was WI v SA, I asked about how to get tickets – they weren’t sure about that either, looks like I could have just turned up.

    – There was no promotion of the match at all by the hotel – you would think the WICB would try to at least promote it to tourists (in conjunction with hotels) who might consider half a day watching in order to experience a bit of Caribbean culture and the price of tickets is not an issue.

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