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Bring it, but don't overdo it

Haydn Gill,

Added 05 May 2010

by HAYDN GILL   IN THE BUILD-UP to the ICC World Twenty20, we were told to bring it. Bring your food, bring your drinks, bring your coolers, bring your drums, bring your horns, bring whistles, bring your cymbals, bring whatever you could bring. It was clear that organisers didn't want to repeat the mistakes of the 2007 World Cup when a host of restrictions appeared to deny the tournament the typical Caribbean flavour. On the evidence on what I saw and heard on the first five days of the World Twenty20, it is absolutely clear that the fans have brought it. The stadia are buzzing with excitement. It is my humble opinion, however, that the fans have brought a little too much. Don't get me wrong. I am all for the presence of musical instruments at cricket matches. They certainly enhance the atmosphere and help make it an enjoyable experience. Having been on the ground for the two days of action at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia over the weekend, I wish to submit that the use of musical instruments was being overdone. In most of the stands, we had a continuous cacophony of sounds throughout the day. When I say continuous, I mean continuous. When the drums and company started, they just continued non-stop for very long periods to the extent that the sounds became monotonous. I might add that the noises were not only coming from sections of local fans but from large numbers of overseas spectators, mainly supporters of the Asian teams. Prior to the 2007 World Cup, there was a way in which we used our musical instruments - in between overs and sometimes in between balls, to acknowledge fours and sixes, to celebrate wickets going down, to recognise brilliant pieces of fielding or just to motivate the West Indies team when things weren't going well on the field. Whenever the bowler started to run in, the noise immediately stopped. That wasn't the case during the matches in St Lucia this past weekend. There were some cases when the drums went on for at least half-hour without stopping. My observation was that continuous sounds of the musical instruments tended to overshadow what was happening in the middle. After all, a cricket match was still in progress. I, therefore, came to the conclusion that the noises weren't complementing the cricket, but competing with it. I wonder if the organisers can do anything now to tone down things slightly. They were the ones who told the fans to bring it. As the tournament moves to Kensington Oval today, I hope that those in the stands are more thoughtful and selective with the use of their musical instruments. Bring it, but don't overdo it.

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