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Caribbean Islands Go Crazy for Cricket World Cup

Looking for a rabid sports rivalry but can't stand the NFL? Be one of the thousands of fans that fly in from the four corners of the globe for 47 days of cheering on cricket teams from nine Caribbean nations.

Imagine nine Caribbean nations (including one on the northern tip of South America) uniting for 47 days of international sports and thousands of fans flying in from the four corners of the globe to be part of the excitement.

From March 5 to April 28, 2007 the islands of Jamaica, St Vincent, St Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, St Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and Guyana will play co-hosts to the ICC Cricket World Cup. Teams from 16 countries (Australia, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Canada, England, Holland, India, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe) will compete for the holy grail of the cricket world -- the highly coveted World Cup. Consider a different kind of spring break with a sporting twist this year.

So why would Americans be interested in this strange game where a "bowler" bowls a ball to a batsman, the batsman attempts to hit it (and must avoid the ball hitting the three sticks (the wicket) set up behind him, then he and another batsman located at the other end of a long pitch run up and down the pitch to score runs? A match can sometimes last for days (a test match) -- but thankfully international competitions like the World Cup are usually just one-day affairs with one innings per team (the innings is over when all batsmen are out). Some argue that the U.S.'s beloved game of baseball is actually a derivative of cricket (although die-hard baseball fans often argue this point). Ultimately cricket is a game of stamina, intelligence, skill and crowd exuberance and the atmosphere alone in these stunning tropical locations will have you excited -- even if you don't quite understand the rules. Plus you will get to hang out and party with die-hard fans from all over the world, with throngs of Australians, New Zealanders, English and South African cricket fanatics especially, crossing oceans and continents to experience the World Cup frenzy.

Travel in and amongst the islands can be as simple as a ferry ride, but you may wish to concentrate on one area rather than trying to spread yourself too thinly. Based on which matches you'd like to attend (Full schedule here:, you'd probably be better off staying in one place. Group stage matches (preliminary rounds) will be played in St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad, St Lucia and Jamaica. Barbados is the perfect destination if you are particularly keen on attending warm-up matches, the second stage (called the Super Eight), and/or the final. Other Super Eight locations are Antigua, Grenada and Guyana. Jamaica and St Lucia are home to the semi finals.

Apart from Jamaica, none of these destinations are really "budget" options when it comes to package deals from the U.S. but airfares to most locations can be found quite reasonably. Sample round-trip airfares on Air Jamaica for travel in March and April, 2007 include:

  • New York to Kingston (Jamaica) $390
  • Miami to Grenada $434
  • Orlando to St Lucia $448
  • Atlanta to St Lucia $458
  • Los Angeles to Kingston $498
  • Chicago to Barbados $538

Taxes and fees are additional.

American Airlines flies to most of these Caribbean destinations (generally via Miami) and sample round-trip fares for March and April 2007 (including all taxes and fees) include:

  • New York to Antigua $432
  • Miami to St Kitts $569
  • Boston to Trinidad $600
  • Miami to Georgetown (Guyana) $677
  • Dallas to Kingston $697
  • Atlanta to Barbados $874

Accommodation-wise, prices can also be quiet hefty, especially in the larger resorts but there are many websites that can point you in the right direction for guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and apartment rentals. Here are a few suggestions, but keep in mind that although these prices may be listed on websites, some hotels may charge a premium for stays during the World Cup:

Antigua VIP ( features 18 properties that are generally smaller and less expensive than the large and luxurious resorts on the island. For example, Serendipity Cottages ( has three bedroom cottages available during the World Cup that are priced at $130 per night. The Catamaran Hotel ( in Falmouth Harbour has double beachfront rooms priced at $150 per night.

Shoestring Barbados ( has listings of numerous budget accommodation offerings on the south coast (near Bridgetown and in proximity to the cricket ground) with rooms starting from $25 per night or $35 on a bed and breakfast basis.

Grenada Grenadines ( offers a complete listing of accommodation options in Grenada (Tip: do not highlight particular amenities or locations when searching as no results will come up -- keep the search form blank). Examples include Bailey's Inn (tel. +1473/440-2912) where double rooms rates start at $50, or The Blue Orchid Hotel (tel. +1473/444-0999) from $70 per double per night.

St Lucia Guide ( has hotel listings with room rates starting from $35 per day in two-star hotels, $75 in three-star properties and $125 in four-star resorts. St Vincent Tourism ( lets you search by budget with several options available for under $100 per night per room including The Paradise Inn (, Sky Blue Beach Apartments ( and Beachcombers Hotel (

Trinidad Hotels ( has links and/or phone numbers of 32 properties in Trinidad (many without websites). Port of Spain Guesthouses like Monique's ( has World Cup rates listed at $138 per night including tax per double room (double the regular season rates), the Normandie Hotel ( has doubles from $155 (including tax and breakfast) and Par-May-La's Guesthouse ( offers rooms with breakfast from $72.

With 51 matches being played, you may not have time to even notice that you are in the Caribbean. Tickets are available online at with information about pricing and group ticketing available at Prices for warm-up matches start from $10 and tickets for the final range from $100 to $300. Matches where the teams considered as favorites play (Australia, England, India or West Indies) actually cost more -- ranging between $25 and $90, whereas other matches cost $15 to $50 per ticket.

Some jargon you might want to know before you go in you're not particularly cricket savvy:

  • Bowler -- the fieldsman who bowls the ball to the batsman (Baseball equivalent is the pitcher)
  • Out for a Duck -- When a batsman is declared out without scoring a single run
  • Golden Duck -- When a batsman is out on the first ball bowled to him
  • Silly -- Apart from a tame insult, silly is actually a modifier to the names of fielding positions that are close to the batsman, most often silly mid-off, silly mid-on, silly midwicket and silly point.
  • Howzat -- Besides being a hit song in the 1970's -- you'll hear that yelled by the crowd and the fielding team when they think they have got a batsman out or appealing an umpire's decision
  • Twelfth Man -- a substitute player in case a team member is injured
  • Wicket -- has several meanings -- firstly it is the set of wooden stumps and bails at either end of the pitch, it can refer to the pitch itself or the dismissal of a batsman

For an expanded glossary of cricket terminology visit

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