24/06/2018 – The Trinidad Guardian. / The fans in Barbados showed up for Test cricket last evening and as much as 2,000 were present for the first session that started at 3 pm, for the first-ever day-night Test match in the Caribbean.
The cricket was competing with the Pinnacle Foods Mid Summer Classic. According to veteran journalist Sam Wilkinson, this was the first time that a major horse race was being held with a Test match on in the country.
In addition to racing, people here were also torn between coming the cricket or going to St Phillip for the official opening of Crop Over.
Officials here are saying that the opening of Crop Over was to take place three weeks ago, but it was postponed to yesterday to give the newly installed minister of Creative Economy Sports and Culture, John King time to review the Crop Over festivities. The energy felt outside the Oval was great according to fans here as they were lining up to get into the ground. One told Guardian Media Sports: “We want the Windies to win and that is why we are here. They can call us bandwagonist but when this team is winning nothing will keep us away from the ground.”
Journalist David Harris said: “Barbadians still love cricket plus it is historic and people want to be part of this history. I am still a bit surprised at the numbers we have here given the economic situation in the country.”
The crowd on the first day here was better than the other days in the first two Test matches in T&T and St Lucia and the interest on the streets was there again. People were actually speaking positively about the Windies team and not cursing the performance of the team as they have been doing in recent times.
Another fan Albert Grant praised Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the selectors for keeping the team together: “We’re seeing a good team coming together because Dave Cameron and them decided to keep a core group together. They are basically telling the other players that if they don’t want to play, they are willing to build a nice unit with a disciplined bunch of players.” (See Test match report on Page A38)