Friday, 8 July 2011

Maiden Test Match in Dominica

In the last few days, I have had the pleasure of watching live cricket on Sky TV from Dominica in the Caribbean.

After hosting one-day internationals against Bangladesh and South Africa (x2) in the last 2 years, the 3rd Test match in the series between the West Indies and India,  is the first such match ever to be staged on the island.

Location of Dominica
The match is being played at the newly built Windsor Park, whose construction was financed by the Chinese government as part of their "memorandum of understanding" with Dominica. The ground was built at a cost of $17m (US) and will hold a capacity up to 12,000.

The Hugely Impressive Windsor Park
Recently, a Dominican friend of mine was explaining how there are many other projects underway on the island, such as road construction, all sponsored by the Chinese. All of this work is being undertaken by an imported Chinese workforce, causing friction with the local population by not allowing employment for Dominican people. 

It is estimated that 14.2% of the population is unemployed in Dominica, which I suppose stands up better than the figure in excess of 17% back in 2006. It would be interesting however, to see how the figure would fall should local people be employed in the current logistical improvements.

Indian Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Cricket is the most popular sport on the island, who compete in regional West Indies cricket championships as part of the Windward Islands (along with St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenada). The island is also represented around the world by top international cricket umpire Billy Doctrove.

International Umpire Billy Doctrove
Named after the town of Windsor in England, the multi-purpose stadium has also hosted the World Creole Music Festival, the finals of a calypso competition, a World Cup soccer qualifier and the Miss Dominica pageant.

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