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Gangnam glory days

Gangnam glory days

By Al Gilkes | Sun, October 14, 2012 - 12:00 AM

I couldn’t do it so I am taking this opportunity to add my congratulations to the West Indies team for that magnificent victory over Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka last Sunday to be crowned the new kings of international T20 cricket.

Oh, how long we have waited for such a moment bringing back memories of those glory days when West Indies really ruled the cricket world. Hopefully, this is the start of a return to that level of class and performance.

Despite the repeated frustration and heartbreak we have suffered for far too long as we waited and waited in vain for a moment like the one we enjoyed last Sunday, and in spite of the team’s reputation of always snatching defeat out of the mouth of victory, I went against all the odds and publicly declared my backing of West Indies to win.

Who told me to do that? Before the ink could dry on the newspaper page, my landline was ringing off the hook, cellphone BBM beeping non-stop and gmail email filling up with Bajans from as far away as Australia letting me know how foolish I was to think that WI could ever beat Sri Lanka.

One man suggested LOL that WI would have a better chance of winning with the women’s team taking the field in place of Sammy and his men. Another went as far as to tell me he would not waste time betting me that Sri Lanka would win. Rather, if West Indies won, he would give me an open cheque.

Well, I can’t remember the name he gave but it seems that although the cheque might be open, the cheque book is closed because every time I call the number on my phone, all I hear is: “We’re sorry but incoming calls to this number have been restricted.”

It got worse for me when Sammy won the toss, decided to bat and before I could sit down in front the TV with my coffee for the first over, Johnson Charles was back in the dugout without scoring and, by the end of the fifth, Chris Gayle had also joined him out for three and WI were a meagre 14 for two.

One friend shouted in my ear: “Yuh idiot! You still betting on that monkey team?” Even Marlon Samuels did not stop the calls and messages as, like Samson of old against the Philistines, he slew bowlers left and right with his jawbone of a bat.

Everybody kept making sport at me as the score stood at a mere 80-something for five with both Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo gone, but I didn’t lose heart. So that when Darren Sammy kept on doing what he often does after Samuels got out to take the final score up to 137, I told myself that I would have the last laugh.

And so it was that it didn’t take long for all the calls and BBMs to disappear as Sri Lanka took to the wicket and lost their first wicket with the score on six, and by the 12th over had only reached 60 with five down.

It was about that time that the phone rang again after what seemed like an eternity. This time it was a female friend, happy as happy can be, asking if I was ready to do the Gangnam dance.

In less than no time Sri Lanka were 60-something for six, 60-something for seven and then after a little fightback, 90-something for eight. Then came the moment I will always remember when, with the score at 100 and 101, Bravo took two beautiful catches to launch Chris Gayle and the entire team, along with supporters like me, into celebrations Gangnam-style all over the world.

• Al Gilkes heads a public relations firm. Email algilkes@gmail.com

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