More cricket calypsos

Many of you would be familiar with “Cricket, lovely cricket” first heard at Lord’s in 1950 and probably the one about Gavaskar after the 1971 series. There are, in fact, a number of other cricket-related calypsos which are summarised in the link below. Lord Kitchener was living in Britain through the 1950s and sang tributes to Alec Bedser (during the 1953 Ashes) and Frank Tyson (after the 1954-55 Ashes). All of these (besides the long version of “Rally Round the West Indies”) can be seen here:

https://silvertorch.com/cricketsongs.html

Background reading here:

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2002/jun/28/nottinghillcarnival2002.nottinghillcarnival

Personal note: My father came to Britain from India through the Tilbury Docks a few months before the SS “Empire Windrush” docked. On the evening of January 30, 1948 he heard the newspaper seller yelling “Extra! Read all about it! Gandy killed by Hindu gunman!”. Coincidentally his first grandchild was born exactly 39 years later.

The last time it happened

The last time the West Indies won a Test in England was at Birmingham on June 15, 2000.

On that date:

Hillary Clinton was in the White House-as First Lady.

Few outside the US had heard of Barack Obama. They had heard of an eccentric millionaire called Donald Trump.

Few outside Gujarat had heard of Narendra Modi. If they had heard his name, they assumed that it referred to Sushil Modi, then and now the main BJP leader in Bihar.

While most Indians knew of Manmohan Singh as a former finance minister, few would have imagined he would become Prime Minister for a decade.

But some things do not change. On that date Vladimir Putin and Robert Mugabe were Presidents of their respective countries. They still are (though Putin took a break in between). Even North Korea has seen a change of rulers, admittedly from the same dynasty.

But there are other records which were more durable. England never won a Test against the West IndiesĀ  between April 1974 and February 1990 (almost 16 years, a little less than the period mentioned above).

And they never won a Test against the West Indies at home between July 1969 and July 1991, a 22-year stretch.

A long stretch, from Nixon to Bush Sr. , and from Indira Gandhi to Narasimha Rao via Morarji Desai and others. But Queen Elizabeth was there throughout, for a small part of her ongoing 65-year reign. So was Fidel Castro, who was undisputed leader of his country for 49 years.