The highlight of Barbados cricket and the Caribbean region in the June 2024 calendar will feature the best 20 teams competing in the ICC World Cup T20. It speaks volumes for small islands to host such a major tournament and a massive coup to attract the best players in the world. Our economy is fueled by tourism and the hub of sports tourism is cricket. Kensington Oval will pack over 20,000 spectators and what a treat for everyone! 
Of course, Barbados is an expert when it comes to hosting big tournaments. We hosted the 2007 ICC World Cup final and made substantial changes to the stadium and the ground. The Kensington Oval remains the iconic venue of Caribbean cricket “The Mecca” and visiting teams and supporters love our ground and our island. History plays a big part in our cricket legacy thanks to our forefathers Sir Garfield Sobers, the 3 W’s Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Frank Worrell et al. It is not by accident that we honoured them with knighthoods and we gave them the respect they deserved. The other knighthoods include Sir Wesley Hall, Sir Charles Griffith, Sir Conrad Hunte, and Sir Gordon Greenidge who placed West Indies at the top of international cricket. 
The world has changed dramatically in sport in fifty years and cricket is no exception. Five-day Test cricket has been augmented with shorter games fueled by demand of the spectators who want a game to start and finish on the same day. Now we have T20 and ODI, 20 overs and 50 overs, with belching music throughout. And, we have a white ball for the shorter game and a red ball for Test cricket. Kensington Oval is a cauldron of music and excitement these days. 
We sometimes forget that cricket is not the only reason for visiting our island. Of course, our greatest assets are the sand, sea and sunshine that have blessed us with beautiful weather most of the year. Our beaches are white sand with turquoise warm waters and sunshine from cloudless blue skies from sunrise to sunset. Tourism is the engine of our economy and thousands of visitors flock to our island all year round. It sits high in the global league of destinations of choice for many visitors, and many return annually. They often call it Paradise. 
When it comes to cricket, Barbados offers a lot!
Some of the ‘old hands’ say West Indies cricket is only strong when Barbados is strong and although the mantle has been tarnished over the years, our national team continues to be at the helm of regional cricket and produces some of the best men and women players in West Indies cricket. Players like Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Kemar Roach, Kyle Mayers, Kraigg Brathwaite, Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews, Stafanie Taylor et al. 
Best to check the websites or to get up-to-date news on fixtures and future dates. If you are visiting to the island, you must plan ahead. Matches against countries like England, Australia and India attract the highest following, although by far the most is England. The Barmy Army has a huge possee and when they are on the island it can be difficult to get accommodation, tickets, taxis, restaurants’ and certain activities. Many clubs and schools also align to big matches as tours are extremely popular. Overseas teams play all over the island and the local hosts are very accommodating, especially in the rural areas. Local and visiting players have made everlasting friendships over the years. However, Bajans like to win and on the pitch, they give no quarter until the match is over!
The CPL has changed T20 culture over the past few years from local to franchise. That means Bajans play for and against these days in various island teams. However, it also means players from all over the world now play CPL and that has increased the interest and public support. Many neutrals attend CPL which is full of excitement, big-hitting and noisy music. Their slogan is Cricket Played Louder and that is definitely a fact!!! The Barbados Royals is the Men’s CPL team. In 2023, unfortunately they did not make it to the finals. However, the Women’s Barbados Royals Team won their section of the Competition against the Amazon Warriors from Guyana. It was a thriller and congrats to the ladies. 
The calypsonians love to sing “Cricket lovely cricket” and “Rally round the West Indies” and the radio lyrics ring islandwide when cricket comes to Barbados!