Category Archives: Cricket

West Indies Cricket Board embarrassed by Verus International fiasco

Barbados Advocate got fooled too... "The private merchant bank, which operates primarily in New York and Barbados, officially launched the new franchise-based Twenty20 tournament yesterday."

Barbados Advocate got fooled too… “The private merchant bank, which operates primarily in New York and Barbados, officially launched the new franchise-based Twenty20 tournament yesterday.”

Caribbean Premier League forgot to ask “When is a bank not a bank?”

by Googly Spinner

Verus International not a bank in Barbados!

Verus International not a bank in Barbados!

The West Indies Cricket Board just learned a lesson about the word ‘assume’. It’s that old lesson that if I ‘assume’ something it can make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’. Ass-u-me.

Yes, the Caribbean Premier League was a multi-million dollar deal with a big press announcement, pretty girls, lots of champagne and little cracker things – but somebody didn’t do their homework. Now all involved are more than a little embarrassed by the Barbados Central Bank announcement that the league source of funding and investment, Verus International ‘Merchant Bank’, is not a merchant bank in Barbados.

Verus International is nothing more than a name in a shoebox on a shelf in one of those cozy little offices where a thousand offshore companies operate from a single desk. It is not licensed to operate as a bank in Barbados but even the news media called Verus a “Private Merchant Bank operating in Barbados

That’s Barbados offshore corporations for you and that’s alright so long as everybody knows how things are… except that Verus International claimed they were a merchant bank operating in Barbados. The Versus International website doesn’t say that now, and they replaced their old website with a single page while they pedal faster to remove all the evidence on the internet. The Wayback archives never forget though!

Whether Verus International is licensed to be a Merchant Bank in Barbados might matter or it might not. Not much of the offshore money stays here anyway – Barbados is mostly a transit point for moving funds around, not a final destination.

Or… the lack of a banking license and government oversight and regulations might be important if things go bad.

Not a good beginning for the CPL deal because it shows that the West Indies Cricket Board management doesn’t do their basic homework and due diligence. That fault can make any organisation meat on a stick for the predators who can smell weakness and inexperience from miles away.

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Cricket

Junior Campbell: Sir Hilary Beckles harming cricket

I’m not sure that I agree with Junior Campbell all the way, but he’s made me stop and think…

“I’m going to go out on a limb here, and suggest that Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Principle of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus has more than a little to do with the difficulties former West Indies cricket team captain and star batsman Chris Gayle is experiencing with the West Indies Cricket Board.

And I will go further. I am suggesting that Professor Beckles, a great lover of West Indies cricket and someone who has done a great deal of good for the game’s development in the Caribbean is also, regrettably, doing the game a considerable amount of harm.

From where I stand, it seems that Sir Hilary and other Caribbean academics, politicians and similar social elites are undermining the very game that they love by their inability or unwillingness to empathise with the persons most critical to West Indies cricket: the players…”

Read the entire article at All Voices: Male bashing in Barbados: Sir Hilary Beckles’ ‘bashment’

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket

Men of Windies Cricket gone girly?

Windies hire shrink to “Sort issues”

submitted by Puzzled

Is this the end result of the feminization of society and sports? Are the men of the Windies trying to “get in touch with their inner selves”???

I can’t believe what I’m reading. The West Indies have been on a losing treadmill for the last while, but team management thinks that hiring a psychologist to help the cricketers “sort issues” will make a difference to the kind of unbelievable disasters and mistakes we’ve been seeing for far too long.

It’s not about “feelings”. It’s not about “thinking too far ahead” or being worried about the idiocy of two weeks ago. It’s about management, the mix and coaching. It’s about supposed professionals who let their individual egos conflict to the determent of the team as a whole. It’s also about a younger generation who lately have been overdoing it on the parties and late nights. Don’t they realize that people see them out late and know what is going on?

“See any of them heavily drinking within 48 hours of a Test and it doesn’t take a brilliant scholar to know where to put your money. That’s about management, professionalism and discipline, not psychology.”

Windies don’t need a shrink. They need someone to give them each a kick in the backside and bring back the bedtime discipline two days before a Test.

Management needs the shrink – the men need managing.

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Sports

Sulaimaan Ukadia of the Al Falah Primary School wins BNB Right Start speech competition

We missed this story back in February and thanks to one of our readers for bringing it to our attention.

Congratulations to Sulaimaan Ukadia. He obviously has some talent and we’ll be waiting to see his efforts in future contests.

Cricket is still king

He was first on stage and, after a clever take on the game of cricket in a speech entitled “Cricket – A game that incites passion”, Sulaimaan Ukadia of the Al Falah Primary School was first in the eyes of the judges at the inaugural Barbados National Bank (BNB) Right Start Primary School Speech Competition. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Education

WICB Exposé: All the West Indies Cricket Board dirt, all the time

WICB: Nepotism, Abuse of Power, Mismanagement, Hypocrisy, Financial Erosion, Dirty Tricks, Corruption

Insider to publish WICB documents

“Which WICB director rang up $712,311.60 in personal expenses on his association’s credit card and is now facing the embarrassment of having that credit card withdrawn with immediate effect?  We will publish an official document tomorrow to answer this question and to provide a long list of these personal expenses (gas stations, restaurants, sports bars, hotels and cricket clubs).”

WICB Exposé “When torchlight shine, cockroach run!”

Thanks to the dozen readers and one special old friend who sent us this email that is making its way around the Caribbean… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Cricket, Sports

Spark of the Day! Trinidad’s future cricket champion

At two years and five months old, Luke strikes terror into the opposition!

Give thanks to Georgia Popplewell and her Flickr collection.

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Spark of the Day!, Sports

What happened to the duty-free Cricket World Cup BMWs?

Sweetheart deals and no public auctions to dispose of government BMWs

A few weeks ago The Nation published the above photo of former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur apparently about to enter a BMW 4×4. Nice wheels, Owen!

As you will recall, the Arthur/Mottley BLP Government allowed an unknown (read ‘secret’) number of new BMW autos to be imported duty free into Barbados for the Cricket World Cup. After Barbados Free Press raised a fuss and questioned who would end up owning them for cheap, the public was told that no big-wigs would end up with the duty-free autos after CWC. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Cricket, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Why don’t Barbados hotels offer a Cricket outing?

Today a visitor from the UK commented on our article about the disappointing turnout for the recent West Indies – South Africa test match, saying that they were in Barbados at the time and tried to obtain information and tickets for Saturday’s event but were unable to.

No one at their hotel knew of the match. There were no schedules available, no contact information and apparently no effort at all by the WICB or Barbados Tourism to promote cricket to hotel guests. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket

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? Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Sports

Bollywood comes to Bridgetown – Akshay Kumar enjoyed Twenty20 Cricket and Barbados. Indian papers still following Barbados Free Press

Indian action movie icon Akshay Kumar took his friends to Barbados on a chartered bizjet

I confess that I’d never heard of Akshay Kumar when a Google-alert for “barbados” landed in our inbox and said the Bollywood star had left a movie set in Vancouver Canada because he wanted to see some Twenty/20 cricket in Barbados. Kumar chartered a large jet and took a dozen or so friends with him – paying the whole shot. (Where do I sign on to be his friend? :-) )

The stuntman turned movie star can do that because a billion people in India love the guy and he’s made almost 100 Hindi films. From what I read online he still does his own stunts and we’re not talking wimpy fights and falls. In one recent film Kumar jumped from one external elevator to another 125 feet in the air without the benefit of safety ropes etc. Not bad for an old man over 40!

Small world syndrome: Indian papers still cover Barbados & Barbados Free Press articles

Along with the Google Alert about Akshay Kumar, we started to receive all kinds of links to Indian newspapers and media featuring stories about Barbados. These stories were a result of the Twenty20 event and, unlike the disastrous coverage of the disastrous 2007 Cricket World Cup, the stories about Barbados were 100% positive. That went for the rest of the world too.

There’s something to be learned there, friends.

In both events Barbados welcomed the world’s cricket fans – but with Twenty20 we kept it real. Visitors experienced real Barbados and Bajan cricket and all that means. We didn’t spend a fortune on non-essentials and we didn’t phony up the place by painting houses or adopting European standards for events. (Which, judging by their football hooligans, aren’t so great anyway!)

BLP supporters will point out that Cricket World Cup was on an entirely different scale, that India fared badly and that we learned much from the mistakes at CWC that we corrected this time. All that is true.

But it’s also true that the BLP overspent at CWC like the world was ending tomorrow and much of the style and cost of CWC was reflective of the pretentiousness and elitism of the BLP government at the time. They believed their own hype! Not to forget that the outrageous overspending and mistakes by Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and Noel Lynch left the cupboard bare so this time around we had to make do… and making do was just what led to the success of Twenty20.

Oh… and we had lights at the oval too!

This time Indian cricket fans and their press came and liked what they saw of the real Barbados. Here we are weeks later and the Indian media outlets are still running positive stories about our little rock, our people and our tourist attractions. Unbelievably the India Times website is still linking to new Barbados Free Press stories and that’s rather special.

Noel Lynch: Moron

Unlike Noel Lynch and his gang, I’m not stupid enough to believe that Air India will be running direct flights into Grantley Adams anytime soon – and I’m also not stupid enough to pay for them like the BLP paid for Air India’s abortive CWC venture. But…

The recent Twenty20 experience has shown that, when done correctly and kept real, sports tourism is cost-effective and generates worldwide positive press for Barbados long after an event.

So kudos to the DLP government and all the folks who made Twenty20 a success by keeping our costs down and welcoming cricket fans with real Bajan hospitality.

As to Noel Lynch preparing for his 1000 yachts anchored offshore and people sleeping in the streets during Cricket World Cup…

What a moron!

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Cricket

BBC’s Adam Mountford says “Barbados is Bringing It!” to cricket in 2010 – Much much better than disastrous Cricket World Cup 2007

Barbados and Bajans impress BBC Radio’s cricket producer

“So the big question is have the ICC and the local organisers learnt from the mistakes of three years ago? Well the first impressions are certainly good…”

… from Adam Mountford’s BBC blog article The importance of first impressions

That’s how Adam Mountford’s blog article starts talking about Twenty20 and it gets nicer and more enthusiastic as it goes along. Certainly the organisers are doing things differently, but the mood of ordinary folks is vastly different from Cricket World Cup because in 2007 we knew we were getting the royal shaft.

At Cricket World Cup 2007 we saw the empty hotels and empty harbour when Noel Lynch and Owen Arthur were announcing that every yacht in the Caribbean was heading for Bridgetown. We saw outrageous ticket prices and “no instruments” rules that were guaranteed to keep the locals away – and when they stayed away as predicted the Arthur/Mottley government tried to fill the empty stands with school children. And then there was Mia Mottley in charge of the worldwide visa disaster that saw (for instance) Australians being told at the last moment that they would need visas to attend CWC – when they didn’t need them before and many cricket fans were already on their way to Barbados! (BFP article: Cricket Visa Chaos: Mottley Worried About Legal Liability For Wrong Information and Visa Failures)

Did we all learn from Cricket World Cup? We surely did – but I have to wonder if the lesson would have been as well learned if the BLP was still in power.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Sports, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Takin’ it So Slow on a Saturday night in Bridgetown

Cliverton is Surfin’ the web on a lonely Saturday night

Woe is me! Alone on a Saturday night with no plans to party and a dead phone.

That’s no problem because I have the internet and I’m not feeling 100% anyway. Sniffles, feel something coming on. If it turns into a bad time I hope I’m able to go to work by Tuesday because it’s going to be a special day. ;-)

I’ll share a few things I’ve come across lately. I love the spontaneity and unpredictable pathways of the internet, don’t you? One moment you’re reading the news headlines at Drudge or BBC and you see something in the sidebar. Three clicks later you’re watching a YouTube video posted by some Filipino kids out of San Diego, California and they are so fine and real and talented that you go through about five of their videos and hope they make it big someday.

Then a click or two later and you’re reading about how if everyone peed while showering in the morning it could cut a town’s water consumption by 20%. Someone did a study on that.

Here are a few of my recent surfing stops on the ‘net. Have a look and if you feel like posting a few of your own, well, that’s what the comments are for.

Enjoy!

Stop #1: Zandi & Justin – Two Filipino kids out of California recording songs in mom’s kitchen etc.

Zandi De Jesus, Justin Crisostomo and sometimes guitarist Mu Hua are ZSOS Music. Everybody has multiple gigs going and you can do some searches to find each of them on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the rest of the standard places.

Have a listen to this for raw talent and beautiful guitar and voice. I musta played it a dozen times…

Stop #2: Essex County Cricket Club touring Barbados in March

Chief Executive David East said: “Having seen the excellent facilities in Barbados, we’re delighted to be going to the Caribbean this year.” He added: “The club pre-season tour is becoming an increasingly important part of our preparation for the new domestic season.”

Essex fly out to Barbados on 12 March and will return on 25 March, in time for a two-day friendly against Worcestershire in Chelmsford six days later.

BBC has the full story Essex County Cricket Club Barbados tour

Clive’s editorial comment: “Excellent facilities”… well I guess so! We paid over 200 million dollars for a little fix up for the Oval. Good to see the lights work now. Thanks Mia!  ;-)

Stop #3: Barbados Sea Turtle Project needs volunteers!

Hey all you students in North America and the UK (or anywhere if you speak English), here’s your chance to spend some time in Barbados working as a field volunteer with other like-minded people trying to preserve and document the Caribbean sea turtle population. The job pays only a stipend but shared accommodations with cooking facilities are provided. You’ll have to tap out mum and dad for the airline ticket to Bim, but you’ll find some pretty low airfares for the summer season.

Best of all you’ll be doing something really worthwhile. Here’s an excerpt from the job information sheet…

The Barbados Sea Turtle Project is based at the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill Campus). For the last 20 years, we have been involved in conservation of the critically endangered marine turtle species that forage around and nest on Barbados, through monitoring and conservation of nesting females and hatchlings, research, education and public outreach. Barbados is currently home to the second-largest hawksbill turtle nesting population in the Wider Caribbean, with up to 500 females nesting per year.  Turtle nesting occurs on most of the beaches around the island, many of which are heavily developed with tourism infrastructure. The Barbados Sea Turtle Project monitors an index nesting beach nightly and operates two mobile patrol groups that monitor up to 15 other nesting beaches per night. The mobile groups also respond to public reports of turtle activity made through the 24-hour Sea Turtle Hotline. Professor Julia Horrocks, the director of the Barbados Sea Turtle Project, is the Country Coordinator for the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) in Barbados, and coordinator of the regional WIDECAST Marine Turtle Tagging Centre.

Duties:

Night Patrol:

You will be required to patrol beaches along the south and west coasts of Barbados from 7:30 pm to 4:00 am, six nights per week (i.e. one night off) for the duration of your time as a volunteer. During beach patrols, you will be required to record nesting/hatching events, tag nesting females, and to collect morphometric data and environmental data with a high degree of accuracy and reliability. You may also be required to rescue disoriented hatchlings and adult turtles, undertake relocations of nests laid in unsuitable locations and educate the public and tourists about marine turtles. Sea turtles often nest in front of hotels, and therefore are highly visible to the public. Ensuring the safety of the nesting female, collecting data, and answering questions are all aspects of a BSTP patrol.

Yes, the volunteers patrol in the daytime too and always in groups for safety and fun.

Further information and applications can be had at the Barbados Sea Turtle Project website and the job posting at the StopDodo environmental job website: Field volunteers required for nesting beach monitoring programme for hawksbill turtles.

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Environment, Music, Nature, Wildlife

Should I Obtain A Masters In Cricket Studies or Basket Weaving? Decisions, Decisions!

The Editor,
Barbados Free Press

Dear Sir/madam,

I recently came across a brochure, put out by the University of the West Indies (U.W.I.), offering a Master of Science program in Cricket Studies. The number of faculty or facilitators for this program, according to the brochure is twelve. I consider this to be a waste of resources, which could be better spent, as I will show below.

Barbados is a developing country. It therefore suffers from most of the ailments associated with developing societies. These ailments are briefly, lack of trained professionals in the sciences and the ancillary equipment and instrumentation needed to implement any meaningful developmental thrust in these area. An in depth examination of all countries, which are developed or are on the verge of being called developed, will reveal, that science and technology, form the backbone of their developmental thrust (eg. Singapore).

There is a need to develop a cheap source of rations for animal husbandry in the region. Processed products from our agricultural commodities, as well as from the fishing industry are needed. There is also a need, to develop new products for export if this island and the region are to survive.

The morass in a country like Barbados is further compounded by the proliferation of non-productive or virtual reality occupations (e.g. law, public sector reform, political science, public administration, accountancy and  management – the latter two are really forms of legalized thievery- etc.). U.W.I. seems very adept at graduating lots of persons in these disciplines. If there is one thing that, the credit crunch has demonstrated, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), it is the fact that, agriculture and engineering form what are called the real economy. The service sector and investment banking among others, the virtual reality economy. Without the former the latter cannot exist.

Like most developing countries, Barbados suffers from a lack of resources. I used to play cricket for U.W.I., St. Augustine and my two sons played cricket. I have a problem, at this juncture in Barbados’ development, with money being spent on this cricket venture. I wonder, if this program, which is being implemented by U.W.I., is a one-man venture or the collective will of a number of persons. If the latter is the case, it would seem that , we are a society, in which individuals lack independency of thought as well as vision.

Sincerely

Robert D. Lucas, Ph.D.
Food biotechnologist.

Barbados

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Lighting Erected At Kensington Oval – Barbados Now Ready For Cricket World Cup 2007

kensington-cricket-barbados

Revising History Is A Barbados Advocate Specialty!

Barbados Advocate Says Lights “Were Not A Requirement For Cricket World Cup”

I guess the folks at the Barbados Advocate can’t remember Mia Mottley’s electricity-conserving CWC 2007 when the final was played out (sort of) at night – without lighting. If you need a laugh, you should read their latest article before they take it down from the internet as the newspaper normally does so citizens cannot hold them to account. (Barbados Advocate: Light At The Oval)

Not to worry though, the internet and cricket fans everywhere still remember the Barbados Labour Party’s supreme triumph as reported around the world in dozens of articles similar to the New Statesman’s “The Cricket World Cup: A Farce In The Dark”

Meanwhile The Nation newspaper reported that the management at Kensington Oval obviously views the project as (cough, cough) highly secret…

“Acting chief executive officer of the Kensington Oval Management Incorporated, Charles Holder, who did not want to divulge too much information yet, said the project was expected to be completed next month. Above, the first of the light towers at Kensington Oval being put into place.”

Who Profits From “Kensington Oval Management Incorporated” ?

The real secret in Barbados is that after shoving hundreds of millions of dollars into Kensington Oval, the Barbados public is not allowed to know who makes a profit from Kensington Oval Management Incorporated. Who owns the company? How much are the staff members paid? How much does the company pay for “consultants”? Are any of the “consultants” related to any public official? Are any of the Oval’s suppliers owned by or related to a public official?

Don’t look to the Thompson DLP government for answers to such questions – like the last BLP Arthur/Mottley government, the current DLP piggies at the trough lost all enthusiasm for transparency and integrity the moment that they started to control the public purse.

Same old, same old ’bout hey!

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Cricket, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

“Island Time” Stupidity Killed Grass At Barbados Kensington Oval?

A Hundred Million Dollars For A Few Weeks Of Cricket

Priority: Two Hundred Million Dollars For A Few Weeks Of Cricket... Now What?

Unconfirmed from a reader…

Do you believe that after spending hundreds of millions for Kensington Oval, then to have Cohobblopot, the plastic covers on the grounds were left on the pitch at Kensington for SIX WEEKS? They’re hoping the grass grows back in time for February for a match, good thing we had so much rain in November – oh wait a minute, Kensington was to keep away moisture… Oh well!

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket

Barbados Cricket World Cup Disaster Still Receiving Worldwide Media Coverage

Malcolm Speed, the former ICC chief executive, has admitted the World Cup in the West Indies last year was one of the more disappointing episodes of his seven-year tenure in charge. (clip) Speed told the Sydney Morning Herald that what should have been a “celebration of cricket” will “always be looked upon less than favourably” for many reasons.

The 2007 World Cup in the West Indies failed to attract full houses at newly-built stadia for the event, with overpriced tickets largely keeping out locals. The tournament also ended in a farce; Australia secured the trophy for the third time in a row, but the match in Barbados ended in near-pitch darkness after the umpires misinterpreted the rules regarding bad light.

“Cricket has a chance to make amends in the West Indies with the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010,” Speed said…

… from Yahoo! News Speed Regrets World Cup Failure

barbados-cricket-world-cup.jpg

Does Anyone Know How Much The Cricket World Cup Disaster Cost Taxpayers?

The national disaster of Cricket World Cup was the showpiece of the Barbados Labour Party Government. It will forever live on as a case study in how to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to achieve fewer tourist visits during a year. Tourism Minister Noel “Instant Millionaire” Lynch continually lied about the number of visitors and even when the government was forced to give away free tickets and fill the place with school children, he maintained that Cricket World Cup was a “success”.

Oh… can anyone tell us who owns Kensington Oval? More than a hundred million of our tax dollars were poured into refurbishing the Oval without first settling who owns the place. Yup, if I owned the Oval, I’d say “thanks, now p’off ” to the government too!

We mention this because, frankly, unless we publish it the Barbados public would never hear about Cricket World Cup ever again.

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Sports

Vasbert Drakes Returns To Barbados After Coaching Stint With Emirates

Cricketer Back To West Indies

Despite his stern appearance in the photo, Vasbert Drakes is considered one of the nicest guys in cricket (at least according to the Flickr account we nicked the photo from!)

Vasbert is a (very) fast bowler and is returning to Barbados from a three-month coaching contract in the Middle East.

Glad to have you back, Vasbert… and from what the Dubai newspaper says, it looks like you will be missed in the land of oil, sand and big money.

Welcome home!

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Asian Cricket Chief: Bring Cricket To The 2012 Olympics

Sounds Good To Us!

THE new chairman of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has said that he wants to try to get the sport included in the 2012 Olympics even though the earliest it can become part of the programme is technically 2020.

Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistian Cricket Board, made his promise after replacing Sri Lanka’s Arjuna Ranatunga as the new ACC chief for a two-year period during the Council’s annual meeting held today.

He said: “Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world and deserves to be in the Olympics.

“We will try our level best to get it included in the London Olympics.”

… continue reading this article at Inside The Games

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Olympics