Sunday, May 3, 2009
I am officially one week and 4 finals away from the beautiful beaches of Trinidad & Tobago. Only Philosophy, Anthropology, Spanish, and Comparative Literature finals stand in between me and the tropical island destination.
Watching an episode of my new favorite Travel Channel show, "Dhani Tackles the Globe" inspired me to find out more about the sports culture in Trinidad. Dhani Jones, a linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals, travels the world learning to play the national pastimes from many different countries. One of the most popular sports on the double island nation is cricket. Similar to baseball in concept, only soccer and basketball are more popular sports worldwide.
This sport is highly popular in the West Indies and Brian Lara, regarded as the best player to come out of the region, is a native of Trinidad. Lara happens to be a close friend of my family friends that I will be staying with in T&T. He retired from international play after the 2007 Cricket World Cup, where he served as the captain of the West Indies team. The BBC reported that "he will retire as Test cricket's leading scorer with 11,953 runs from 131 matches and holds the record for the highest Test score, an unbeaten 400 against England in Antigua in 2004." With no real knowledge of the game, those stats are foreign to me. But Brian Lara is considered one of the best players of the modern era by many. His late coach, Bob Woolmer, brought it into perspective for me. "Anyone who can score that prolifically has to be one of the greatest batsmen of all time, not just of his era."
Needless to say I am very excited to have the opportunity to meet such an outstanding athlete and learn a little more about this sport. Countdown to Trinidad: 6 days.