BBC sports journalist gives Barbados a failing grade for CWC 2007

In the South Asia bureau of the BBC‘s online edition, Boria Mujamdar has said what Barbados Free Press and the Bajan Reporter have been trying to state all along – if this region cannot look at hosting Olympics, then how on Earth can we do Cricket World Cup?

Take Barbados. It will be hosting six of the eight final-round play off games, including the high profile India-Pakistan and India-West Indies clashes.

The problems begin at the airport. There are only four customs counters. The time taken to clear television equipment through ranges from an hour to two hours. Foreign media crew expect long waits.

“The flight schedules are awkward and there are only a couple of connecting flights for passengers from the Indian subcontinent.

Travel within Barbados is hard. A distance of five kilometres, the distance between my hotel and the Kensington Oval cricket ground, takes an hour or more and taxi fares are never less than $15.

Restaurants are struggling to keep up. The time taken to serve pizza at the pizzeria in a mall opposite my hotel was an hour and twenty minutes. Many of the waitressing staff seem new to the job.

“These may be teething problems. But internet facilities are unreliable. More than two thirds of the hotels have no internet. Internet cafes are few and far between. Places with broadband are limited and the speed is often not good enough to send television stories.

“If you think you can overcome this by calling office/home, you are in for a shock. A $5 phone card allows you to talk for only for a minute to the UK and India. To compound problems, some hotels charge $3 every time one uses a calling card from the room phone.

Before most of those partisan to whatever start raising their lances to tilt at whatever windmills? This Mr Majumdar is a sports historian and a university lecturer in Melbourne, Australia! Bajans also have a long way to go when it shows responsibility for their surroundings even after any kind of event, be it sporting or otherwise…

2 Responses

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  1. It seems to me that this journalist is wanting the caribbean to be exactly like Britain. I found his comments extremely negative and misleading.

    For example to travel to Kensington Oval can take time … during rush hour, but name a major city in the world where it does not take an hour to get anywhere during rush hour, or when there is a major accident. I once spent 6 hours on the M25 in a major traffic jam during Euro 1996 Football Championships. Did I write to the papers about it … No! Because sometimes these things just happen … all over the world.

    The pizza place that took an hour and a half …. well I am a British/Barbadian, and I know that the Caribbean is more laid back than Britain, but I have never heard of this. He should go to Mamma Mia’s in Hastings – it takes about 10 minutes and is freshly cooked – probably one of the best pizzas I have ever had in the world. In fact, unlike Britain, most of the food here is freshly cooked. All the more fool him for not walking out!! This is not the norm at all … if it was, the pizza place would most certainly have closed down. Anyway, pizza in the Caribbean ????? I suggest he try something a bit more local.

    Like anywhere in the world there are good and bad experiences, but really …. I felt that this person’s comments were not justified. I am so glad that the Caribbean is different from Britain, and encourage our visitors to leave their worries at home, and enjoy Caribbean life for what it is – rather than try to change it. If it becomes too much like the rest of the world then there will be no need to travel.

  2. Hey, some of what the guy says is true. The place is expensive and all that. What did I just say? EXPENSIVE? More expensive that England? Internet? Where do you go in London for reliable and affordable internet access. I think this guy took the tourism hype too literally. When the Bajans talk about heaven in their advertising they do not actually mean THE ‘Heaven’, my friend. They come close though. Much closer than Britain.


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