Why a tour with Barmy Army is always a win: Discover how cricket holidays can cast a very sociable spell, from Grenada to South Africa
- Tom Chesshyre watches a ‘violent’ cricket match on Grenada’s Grand Anse beach
- He see English legend David Gower at the country’s Mount Cinna Hotel
- “The place you visit comes alive,” he says on a cricket holiday
A bitter showdown ensues down on the beach at Grand Anse, Grenada.
The Barmy Army of England cricket fans, adults and children, play against locals (with a tennis ball, so not so fiercely).
About 50 of us circle the wicket as a ball is thrown to a young Grenadier who expertly hooks it behind him.
Tom Chesshyre watches a cricket match between locals and the Barmy Army of England cricket fans, adults and children, on the beach at Grand Anse in Grenada (above).
In the distance a woman, also an English cricket supporter, happens to saunter and casually plucks it out of the air as if it were the most natural thing to do.
On the other side of the beach, there is a great howl of joy from locals and visitors alike. It’s a moment that encapsulates the camaraderie that comes from watching a friendly abroad.
I went to see England play the West Indies but the location doesn’t matter.
In South Africa, local fans once invited me to a post-game barbecue; in Australia I banged tin cans with the ‘enemy’; and in Barbados, all the neighbors in the stands took us to a street party.
David Gower batted in a Test match at Trent Bridge, Nottingham in 1981. Tom says he saw the English legend eat poached eggs at breakfast at the Mount Cinnamon Hotel in Grenada. Image courtesy of Creative Commons
Cricket trips can cast a very sociable spell.
You will also come across “Names”. At the Mount Cinnamon Hotel in Grenada, I watched English legend David Gower eat poached eggs at breakfast while ex-captain Mike Atherton came into our restaurant one evening.
The days pass like the ball on the field.
You make friends in the stands, enjoy the game and the place you visit comes alive in a way that only touring cricket fans, whimsical and not so whimsical, know.
Seven nights B&B at Mount Cinnamon in Grenada costs from £2,602 per person with flights (virginholidays.co.uk). See also puregrenada.com, barmytravel.com, spectatetravel.co.uk. The next England test tour is in Pakistan in November (ecb.co.uk).