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#1 Aug 23, 2020 4:54 pm

New Historian
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When the Windies played at the Soweto Oval

Johannesburg, 11 November, 1998: Finally, all the money wranglings between the Windies players and the cricket establishment were "satisfactorily concluded" in London, most of the team flew to Jo-Burg on Monday night, and the tour is on. Somehow or other, batsman Jimmy Adams managed to cut his hand on the flight with a butter knife, severing THREE tendons. How the hell did he manage that? So he's out of the tour. Then Courtney Walsh and Curtley Ambrose missed the flight. Great beginning.

The first match was a one-dayer against an Invitational Eleven, to be played today in, of all places, Soweto! I would be passing through Jo-Burg en route to Uganda on that same day, and really wanted to stop over and witness history in the making. I managed to rearrange things, arranged car and driver, left the airport and headed to Soweto.

It ain't as bad as everyone says. A huge, sprawling mass of black humanity. No Boers down there! The "Soweto Oval" is an ambitiously-named piece of flat ground with a mini grandstand. I strolled up to the gate and announced with my best non-specific West Indian accent that I'm "with the team". Oh, come this way, sir! In we go, me and the driver. Into the grandstand, straight to the players' enclosure. Man, what a day! There I was, chatting with Conrad Hunte (remember him?), Junior Murray (my countryman) et al. Of course, I played up the "I flew in from Zimbabwe for the match" angle, and was welcomed into the fold. At lunch I sat between Clive Lloyd and Malcolm Marshall. What a thrill! And, on the back of my telephone contact list, I got everyone's autograph! Except the three who didn't make it.

As for the cricket? Our guys were still pretty shell-shocked from the flight and all the drama in Londonbut still made a go of it. Lara made a quick-fire 65 and was brilliantly caught at mid-on (well I think it was mid-on; I still can't master all the field places). At 258 for 7 the heavens opened up and that was the end of that. Unfortunately, that meant that "Madiba" (Mandela) didn't come down at 4:00 like he was scheduled to.

But hey, still a brilliant day!

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cri … 84426.html

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#2 Aug 25, 2020 10:01 am

Slice
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Re: When the Windies played at the Soweto Oval

You and your stories.  Cant wait for that book.  BTW you cheated. I just doh know, never grew into Lara.  I expressed my feeling in Grenada about him, in a little kinda place of rest for the Taxis drivers in Grenada.  Ah kinda ah restaurant.  Lord have mercy, those Taxi drivers in that little booth nearly kill me.  They called me all kinda dotish for not respecting Lara.  It is only after ah said you cant compare him to Soders they gave me ah litte slack.

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#3 Aug 25, 2020 10:53 am

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Re: When the Windies played at the Soweto Oval

Slice wrote:

You and your stories.  Cant wait for that book.  BTW you cheated. I just doh know, never grew into Lara.  I expressed my feeling in Grenada about him, in a little kinda place of rest for the Taxis drivers in Grenada.  Ah kinda ah restaurant.  Lord have mercy, those Taxi drivers in that little booth nearly kill me.  They called me all kinda dotish for not respecting Lara.  It is only after ah said you cant compare him to Soders they gave me ah litte slack.

Kinda agree, he's supremely talented but selfish, all them big scores he make, in drawn matches!

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