James Lawton: The cricket may change but Death Row does not

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Ten years ago, some of us travelled to the Queen's Park Oval cricket ground in Port of Spain, Trinidad, more concerned about the fate of a prisoner on the local Death Row than England's batsmen. The priorities of worry were made to seem a little misplaced - but only at the time. The condemned man had a small army of lawyers and the English batsmen had no defence against Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh.

Ten years ago, some of us travelled to the Queen's Park Oval cricket ground in Port of Spain, Trinidad, more concerned about the fate of a prisoner on the local Death Row than England's batsmen. The priorities of worry were made to seem a little misplaced - but only at the time. The condemned man had a small army of lawyers and the English batsmen had no defence against Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh.

England, pursuing 194, were shot out for 46 - one less than the West Indians on Sunday when Stephen Harmison unleashed his own version of Caribbean "chin music". Yesterday the West Indians apologised to the nation for their hapless showing. England's captain, Mike Atherton, didn't say sorry in 1994. He just gave his recipe for recovery - a lot of patience in the development of young players, and a prodigious amount of hard work.

Harmison and his seven wickets for 12 runs rather confirmed the point. Things, though, are going less well on a rather crowded Death Row. Trinidad still has the death penalty on its statute books but is locked in fierce legal arguments with the Privy Council in London. The last executions were four years ago - nine in three days. Meanwhile, the murder rate soars. That too, you might have thought, also warrants an apology.

Comments