A report by Akshat Gaur for Cricket Times.
The return of international cricket in the form of Test series between England and West Indies has indeed brought happiness to all the cricket fans across the world. The three-match series kicked-off at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton where the visitors conquered the first game by four wickets.
The Test victory has especially impressed the Caribbean fans as they got a strong reason to share the happiness more importantly amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Not just the ordinary citizens, even the Prime Ministers of different Caribbean Islands went on a joy ride after West Indies defeated England in the Southampton Test. They hailed Jason Holder and Co. for the impressive performance.
Dr Ralph Gonsalves (Prime Minister of St Vincent), Dr Keith Mitchell (Prime Minister of Grenada) and Mia Mottley (Prime Minister of Barbados) joined Windies skipper on the Mason and Guest radio show on Wednesday.
All three politicians pointed out discipline, maturity, commitment and pride as the characteristics of the Windies team, which helped them to win the three-match series opener.
“You have lifted in our hearts a pride even as we face this pandemic (which) is indescribable. We the Caribbean people want to be the wind beneath your wings. For me, the highlight was just how long you took to make the winning runs, the last 10-11 runs. That said to me that the maturity is there – to understand that unless you finish the mission, you have not achieved what is required of you,” said Motley as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
“You brought that sense of hope in us again that this is a team that is now going to carry us on a pathway to victory because what you showed was the maturity and the discipline to keep the mission in focus,” she added.
Motley also claimed that the victory unified the entire Caribbean Islands.
“You have lifted in our hearts a pride even as we face this pandemic (which) is indescribable. We the Caribbean people want to be the wind beneath your wings,” Motley concluded.
Gonsalves said despite early blows during the West Indies chase; he had confidence in the team.
“I didn’t think at all that this was another West Indian collapse. We had played with such, to use Mia’s words, discipline. We had played with such commitment that I felt it. There was something in me which said the purposefulness with which the players as a team went about their job that I felt absolutely confident that we are going to make the 200 runs,” said Gonsalves.
Speaking about the ministers’ interest in the game, Holder was pleased. He said that sharing the talk show with the trio was a great feeling.
“To be on the show with the three Prime Ministers, it was great. Great knowing that they are 100% behind us. Great knowing that they pay so much attention it. I was actually blown away and amazed at how much they actually followed it and how closely they followed it. It tells us a lot about our Caribbean people. It is great again, to have their support,” said the Barbados cricketer.
The No.1 Test all-rounder further stated that in order to increase the level of happiness of Caribbeanns’, his team would try its best to win the Test series against England.
“The reception that we got not only particularly from the heads of the government but the people in the Caribbean has been tremendous. This COVID period has really put a dampener on things for the world per se. Things like cricket, especially in the Caribbean, unified Caribbean, and it is really good to see how many hearts we have really pleased in the Caribbean so far. But in order to take it a step further now, they all want us to win this series. So, we have got a lot more to play for,” concluded Holder.