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Tino: The best is yet to come

Natanga Smith Hurdle

Tino: The best is yet to come

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“I’ve got  a new attitude.”
So proclaims fiery fast bowler Tino Best.  Last year has been a good one, albeit with a few minor setbacks for the 29-year-old who impishly told me that he is single and ready to mingle.
With his boyish features, sexy grin and tempting bald head (his dad Bertram went bald early in his life and Tino started to have some receding hairline problems so he did a clean-shave a couple years ago and has kept the style since) Tino has promised that the best is yet to come and he is brimming with plans for his future.
“?I have the T20 Caribbean Cup from January 9 to 24, plus the opportunity has arisen for me to represent the West Indies this year’s World Cup. I am ready to showcase my talent and make the final 15.”
Tino hasn’t been exactly the choir boy of cricket for West Indies and Barbados who he represents at country level and has gotten into a couple of spats on the cricket pitch. But all of that are bygones.
Tino admits that he has gotten into problems with his attitude but “I?have changed my attitude towards people and the negativity I used to bring with me. No more trouble from me on the cricket field. I have been calmer in recent times. I am now more older and mature and humbler in how I approach my life and for 2011 I continue to be humble”, he says sincerely.
Tino has been in the game for the past seven years, coming up in a cricket family with uncle Carlisle Best who has also represented the West Indies.  Tino go the chance to play for Yorkshire, a county cricket club in England but suffered a hamstring injury which forced him to return home early.
“The different temperature and environment were a challenge. It was a setback but if the option was open to me again I would take it. He hasn’t played for the West Indies since 2009 but has been representing Barbados in matches.
But enough talk of cricket. What makes Tino tick?
“I?am addicted to ESPN. That is my biggest, single,
time-wasting thing in my life. I watch it
every day, every minute every hour. I?am a serious NFL?fan. Go Patriots!”, he shouted. And is that going to change for 2011??“Nope”, he said unashamedly. Then he revealed that if he had gotten the chance he would have played contact sports if he hadn’t gotten into cricket. Realising that we were still talking about sports, I nudged him to the topic of his life.
“Most people don’t know this about me, but I?pray two to three times a day. I?give God the glory all the time. And I will keep on praying, not only for myself but for others who do not have it as I do. I remain humble and give thanks for my talent. I try not to be bigheaded”, he stated simply.
Then in the next breath he tells me he was voted by a Trinidad magazine as “one of the sexiest sportsmen in the Caribbean,” urging me if I didn’t believe to Google it.
He has major plans for this year and looking past this year, ten years down the road:?“I?am trying to be a physical trainer. No, let me rephrase . . . . I am going to study to be a strength and conditioning coach. I?believe in fitness not just as an athlete but as a way of life. I am going to definitely make time for that this year,” he said emphatically.
And where does his love life fit into this??Tino says he has no specific list that he checks off when it comes to his choice of women and tries to convince me that he doesn’t discriminate:?“I?love all women.”
“By age 40 [that’s ten years time] I should be married”, he says, making a big whooping laugh. “With two kids and a beautiful home,” he says dreamily.
Tino already has a son, Tamani Tino Best, aged 10, who he calls his “biggest achievement.”
“When I am down he cheers me up. He calls me after games and tells me he saw me on TV bowling and he often encourages me to do better. He even pushes me and tells me do not listen to negative things.” Tino says proudly.
They say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, for Tino, that’s half-true. Ladies, take note. His favourite meal is “half pie, half rice, half sweet potato pie, leg and thigh, plantain and coleslaw”, but h e is a also a “watch fanatic” and has his eyes on a Hublot for his birthday in August.
He professes to liking adventure movies and cites Sri Lanka and Brisbane, Australia, as two of the most beautiful places he has seen (apart from Barbados, of course) and makes no bones about his partying.
“I?love to party. I do not overindulge. I do not get drunk. I use it not only to celebrate. After a tense environment of cricket I need to relax and unwind.
“People may see me as a very aggressive cricket but I am not that in real life. I am very approachable.”
Tino gives credit to his mum, Yvette and dad,  and said that even though they didn’t have much when he was younger he never wanted for anything. He is adamant that he will continue to “pray and thank God for the good year he has had in 2010 and hope to achieve even more in 2011 . . . and will keep his eyes on the prize –cricket fame, marriage and that beautiful house with the white picket fence.