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Clarke’s Meadow & The Calypso Kings

Clarke’s Meadow & The Calypso Kings by Dave Bracegirdle

To cricket followers of a certain age there will always be a special bond between Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and the West Indies.

The signing of Garfield Sobers in 1968 helped cement that relationship but for many years, before and since, cricketers from the Caribbean have enjoyed their visits to Nottingham.

‘Clarke’s Meadow & The Calypso Kings’ looks at how the tourists have managed to keep intact a proud record of never having lost a first class fixture in Nottingham and profiles the players who have enjoyed themselves as members of the county club.

Probably more than any other ground outside the Caribbean, Trent Bridge has become synonymous with West Indian success and a long unbeaten run in first class matches, a statistic that will next be tested during the 2012 summer.

With their own, particularly flamboyant, way of playing the game the West Indians are always popular visitors to Trent Bridge and have always reciprocated by producing some of their most outstanding performances at the venue.

The friendly conditions have enabled some of the West Indies’ leading batsmen to flourish, with stars like George Headley, Frank Worrell, Vivian Richards and Brian Lara enjoying themselves in the Trent Bridge sunshine.

Similarly, a lengthy battery of lithe, athletic, fast bowlers, including Manny Martindale, Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall and Curtly Ambrose have all recorded impressive figures on the ground, as did the spin twins, Alf Valentine and Sonny Ramadhin.

Apart from enjoying all-too-occasional visits with their national side, several West Indians have joined the county side for varying lengths. From Carlton Forbes in the late 1950s to Darren Bravo, half a century later, they have all been made welcome as Nottinghamshire players.

After more than 100 years of hosting West Indian sides, Notts made their first official tour to the Caribbean in 2012 and the book concludes with an inside report on that trip.


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