The West Indies.
Unless you are a wealthy American tourist or once signed up for a Merv Hughes cricket tour, I’m guessing you’ve never been there.
It’s a place that inspires thoughts of reggae music, frightening fast bowlers and oversized purple sun hats.
India are about to kick of a Test series over there, so I thought it best that I filled the gaps in your West Indian knowledge. You never know. It might come in handy one day. Or not.
The West Indies were actually discovered by that great Indian explorer Kumar Columbus. He named it the West Indies as at the time as the islands were west of India. Over time, shifts in continental plates and and a dislike of crappy Bollywood films forced the West Indies to pick up and move to their current location east of Florida.
The West Indies is actually a group of 15 independent island countries, territories and protectorates. One of those island nations is Guyana, which in 1897 voted to no longer be an island and instead joined the South American mainland.
Cricket found its way to the Caribbean shortly after when Sachin Tendulkar’s great great grandfather toured with Shane Warne’s All Stars in 1925. The tour was a great success and it made ancestor Sachin wealthy, although he left the region before paying his taxes on a Ferrari he was gifted.
There is no national anthem of the West Indies, but it does have a theme song called “Rally Around The West Indies.” What a type of car race has to do with cricket is still a mystery, although scholars believe it has something to do with Sachin and that Ferrari.
For the upcoming Test series, the best West Indian players to look out for are the retired ones in the stands. On the field, the players are more likely to strike or retire to play T20 cricket rather than actually participate in a Test.
You may be surprised to learn that the West Indies is one of only 192 places in the world that doesn’t have a Taj Mahal. They do however have a shrine built to honour famous Sri Lankan cricketer Jayawardene. It’s called the Taj Mahela.
Unlike India, the West Indies have never had a captain who was convicted of match fixing or is a Vice President of India Cements. This is seen as a major cultural failing on their behalf.
For cricketing purposes, the West Indies is deemed a territory of England and all players born there are welcome to represent the ECB.
The West Indian Island of St Kitts is named after the patron saint of chai wallahs.
Brian Lara is a real life prince, and is now third in line for the Danish throne.
Chris Gayle has already clocked Pokemon Go.
Sir Viv Richards has an effeminate gait, but no one is brave enough to tell him for fear of being labelled sexist.
Due to Brexit, the railway between Antigua and Jamaica is no longer operational.
Finally, Amitabh Bachchan once asked “West Indies? Can you get kulfi there?”
Yes Amitabh, you can.
Originally posted at The Quint
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