Last weekend I had the opportunity to cheer for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL T20), which is a cricket tournament that took place in South Florida for the first time. The six franchise teams featured were the Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawah, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, St. Lucia Zouks and the Trinbago Knight Riders. Their supporters came out in hundreds waiving their flags high, some going all out with painting their face or body with whichever team they were supporting. But let me be 100% honest, I’d never seen a cricket game in my life until Thursday. I jumped on board because the opportunity was great, it was an awesome workout (hello birthday abs) and I love supporting anything Caribbean. But truth be told I had NO idea what an over, wicket, 4 or 6 meant. No judgments, but I sorta-kinda-half of almost thought it was the game the Queen of Hearts was playing in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland but that’s enough confessions for the day.
Let me give you a quick break down for those of you who may not know. Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world and it is a ball and bat game, played between two teams of eleven players each. One team bats first, attempting to score runs, while the other team is in the field attempting to restrict the scoring or catch the ball to get someone out, similar to baseball. Did I get that right? Lol.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors vs Barbados Tridents game, that took place Thursday evening and Saturday evening, was in high attendance and the Warriors secured a place in the finals with a six-wicket win against Barbados with a score of 161-4 and 158-6. St. Lucia Zouks v. Jamaica Tallawahs game was a high-scoring game however, The Zouks took the win both Saturday and Sunday. Despite their win, the Tallawahs ended up in the second position for the finals and played against the Warriors on August 3, resulting in a Warrior win by 4 wickets. Trinbago Knight Riders won their game against St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots and will be playing the St. Lucia Zouks in the second play off.
If I lost you, doh worry it is quite confusing for me still. It was a great experience of culture. Not only was it broadcasted live on YouTube and throughout the Caribbean television, the entire weekend was a success and it showed through production. Beautiful women in carnival costumes roamed the stands for pictures, the EL Dorado rum girls danced up a storm on their stage lit up with bright lights and fog, the cheerleaders (pats self on the back) danced for the entire game while the Tassa and steel pan bands shell down the place and gave everyone a taste of classic Caribbean music. There were even a few fans with flags from Pakistan and others in jerseys from Bangladesh, and just being able to expose them to our culture is a privilege. My belief is that the Caribbean should always show culture in any aspect possible, not only carnival.
I went into this not really knowing what to expect but my mind and heart were open. I learned something new and I am able to appreciate what I don’t understand. That’s how things should be in life. Try new things, attempt to learn and what you can’t understand simply respect and appreciate.