Bracegirdle's Blog:
The Big Fish

Comment and Analysis | 22nd March 2013

There is an episode of BBC Television’s ‘Men Behaving Badly’ where Neil Morrissey’s character awakes in a seaside bedroom and is greeted by the sight of an extremely large ornamental fish beside his bed.

It transpired that Tony and Gary had ‘acquired’ the fish during a fairly drunken lad’s night out.

I was able to recreate that moment first thing this morning, as I struggled to comprehend what was looking down at me from the bedside table.

Then, blinking my way into the new day, I recalled that Chris Read had given me the fish, the Barbados T20 prize, to look after for the rest of our tour. I’m not sure how much of an honour that is – I’ll let you know if I end up getting charged excess baggage at the airport check-in.

As you may have read elsewhere on the site the entire Notts party were invited to the presentation evening at The Concorde Experience, after successfully winning the weekend’s competition.

The destination was kept as a bit of a mystery from us – but I was so relieved when we got there. I’d heard a whisper it was going to be on-board the Costa Concordia!

I had forgotten how beautiful an aircraft Concorde was. Its pointed nose, slender body and unparalleled grace almost caused me to run into other vehicles on the M25 on any number of occasions.

Now we were allowed on-board. I have to say it was a huge privilege but how times have changed. You have to say we demand so much more from our air travel these days. Concorde was quick – London to Barbados took 3 hours 45 minutes and cost £8,000 return up until 2003 when it was de-commissioned. But there was no entertainment on board – just luxury seating and catering.

Earlier in the day I’d had another unusual occurrence. Think of Barbados and you will automatically think of the sun, sea, sand and beautiful Caribbean Sea.

Naturally, your thoughts wouldn’t wander towards the festive season but – believe it or not - there is a Christmas Shop here – the full works, trees, baubles, decorations, the lot.

I wish the proprietors well and they’ll probably need it. The shop is open all year round but I wouldn’t have thought that trade would be brisk. At least the music is familiar inside. As I entered I heard the familiar cry of ‘It’s Chri.......stmas’ from Noddy Holder as Slade’s biggest hit boomed out.

Listening to the weather reports from back home I guess I should be preparing for some snowy conditions myself for when we get back home but meanwhile the entire party is enjoying the sun and the cricket.

The West Indies Test team are on the crest of a wave at the moment, on their best run of consecutive victories since 1988/89. Although it’s Bangladesh, New Zealand and Zimbabwe that have been swept aside – not some of the bigger ‘fish’ – there is a feel-good factor about the game here again and remember they did win the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka as well.

At the time of writing this a Test is taking place in Dominica. Mick Newell led the England Lions all around the Caribbean on their 2011 tour and tells me that that particular island is one of the most stunning.

The ground there, Windsor Park in Rousseau, is the one on which Andy Carter made his only Lions appearance.

Watching the big fella bowl quickly here – and now thankfully over his injury concerns – I hope he gets another go at that level.

It’s a certainty that a good number of Notts players will be on international duties again this year – and the club takes immense pride in their selections - but if enough of them are around for the bulk of our domestic season I fancy that a ‘Big Fish’ won’t be the only prize heading to Trent Bridge this summer.

tunbridge wells

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