March 4, 2007
It Would appear that the West Indies team created an unfavourable impression on their arrival at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay on Friday afternoon as airport workers were clearly not impressed with their manners and general attitude.
Having missed the arrival of the West Indians because news of their arrival was not communicated on time, when the local media turned up for the back-to-back arrival of Kenya and the Netherlands he complaints about the Caribbean side were plenty.
“I felt insulted by the appearance of our players (West Indian). They looked like a bunch of rebels with mismatched clothing and their shirts out of their pants,” said a female airport worker. “All the other teams came in looking quite smart – either in their blazers or suits.”
One male airport worker, who described himself as a long-standing Brian Lara fan, said he found the West Indies captain’s attitude towards the fans, which were clearly quite happy to see him, most disappointing.
“He just walked by with his two earphones stuck in his ears not even a smile of acknowledgement despite the attempts by the fans to catch his attention,” said the airport worker. “Personally, I feel insulted by the attitude of our (West Indies) players.”What was missing from the West Indies players was highlighted by the Kenya team, which arrived some 25 minutes before their Netherlands counterparts and top-flight umpires Asouka De Silva and Billy Bowden. The Kenyans, who arrived at approximately 7:20 p.m., were all smiles as a cultural group, singing and dancing to Bob Marley’s song, ‘Iron Lion Zion’, greeted them with sweet Caribbean music. Some of the players stopped briefly to dance and take photographs.
“These people understand hospitality,” remarked one of the drummers, as the Kenyans walked by. “Somebody should video tape this and show the West Indies team. This is how sportsmen should behave.”
While the Netherlands contingent did not stop to dance, they were all sporting bright smiles as they acknowledged the welcome party’s attempt to make them feel welcome. Some of the players even stopped briefly to have a chat with members of the airport staff.
Umpire Bowden, who arrived on the same flight with the Netherlands team, was an instant hit with the airport workers. In addition to delighting all with a little jig to the music from the cultural group, he flashed his ‘crocked finger’ – you are OUT – several times for the camera.
Umpire Bowden was also the only umpire or cricketer to speak to the media, albeit not in an interview format. As he walked out in the parking lot, he turned around to the media contingent and remarked, “pleasant night isn’t it”.