What could be better than combining cricket with the Caribbean sun this winter? If you’re planning to join the Barmy Army heading to England’s three-week tour of the West Indies starting in late February, APH.com’s comprehensive travel guide is all you’ll need. From airport parking to the final ball – it’s all here.
When, where and what…
Leaving the disappointment of Australia firmly behind, Captain Cook and his England team will be leading the Barmy army to the Windies for a series of three one-day internationals on the island of Antigua, before moving on to Barbados for a trio of floodlit Twenty20 contests. The first ball will be bowled on February 25 in Antigua’s Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, with the final overs on March 13 in Barbados at the island’s legendary Kensington Oval.
Here’s the full fixture list. You can buy tickets at the bottom of this blog.
|25/02/14||Uni WI VC XI||v||England||Sir Vivian Richards Stadium|
|28/02/14||West Indies||v||England||Sir Vivian Richards Stadium|
|02/03/14||West Indies||v||England||Sir Vivian Richards Stadium|
|05/03/14||West Indies||v||England||Sir Vivian Richards Stadium|
|09/03/14||West Indies||v||England||Kensington Oval|
|11/03/14||West Indies||v||England||Kensington Oval|
|13/03/14||West Indies||v||England||Kensington Oval|
Here’s all you’ll need to know about getting to Antigua and Barbados.
Airport parking: Whether you’re flying from Gatwick or Manchester Airport, APH.com has the package for you. From park and fly to meet and greet packages, simply book your Gatwick Airport Parking or Manchester Airport parking here.
Flights to Antigua
Gatwick Airport is well-served with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic heading non-stop to Antigua. Prices start from around £650 per person, with a flying time of just over eight hours.
Manchester Airport also has good connections to the island of Antigua, with Thomas Cook running a direct service every Thursday, with fares also starting from around £650 and a flight time of 8.5 hours.
Gatwick Airport provides Cricket fans heading to the excitement of the Twenty20 matches in Barbados with direct flights from around £650. Flying time is approximately 8.5 hours.
Manchester Airport flyers can take advantage of a direct service offered by Thomas Cook with prices from around £500. Flight time is also around 8.5 hours.
Where to stay: Antigua and Barbados: There’s no need to choose accommodation that’s close to the Cricket grounds on either island. With Antigua at just 14 miles long by 11 miles wide, and Barbados measuring 21 miles by 11 miles, you’ll never be too far from the action.
Antigua: Head for Dickenson Bay, where non-cricket days can be spent on the stunning beach, swimming in the warm waters and enjoying the many bars and restaurants. Getting to the match won’t be a problem, either; the bay is just a 20-minute drive from the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Eat with the locals: The national dish is fungie (pronounced ‘foon-jee’) and pepperpot. It is a delicacy that’s similar to Italian Polenta, made mostly with cornmeal and usually accompanied by mashed vegetables and a sauce of salted cod-fish, tomatoes, garlic and onions.
Drink with the locals: After a long hot day at the wicket, crack open a bottle of the local Wadadli beer.
Barbados: Most folks head for the west coast of the island, where we’d recommend planting your stumps at Holetown. Swimmers will enjoy the calmer waters after a day at the cricket, while the many restaurants and bars will make the perfect venue to discuss the day’s on-field action. Oh – and did we mention the Kensington Oval is just a 15-minute drive along the coast road?
Eat with the locals: Impress your friends with your culinary knowledge by choosing the local delicacy of flying fish. This fish is fried or steamed and is considered the national dish of Barbados.
Drink with the locals: Toast the day’s play with a shot of legendary local spirit Mount Gay rum… cheers!
Tip: Cricket fans should not pass up the opportunity of enjoying one of the guided tours offered at the Kensington Oval. Cricket has been played at this Mecca of sport site since 1882.
Accommodation: Antigua and Barbados: There are many specialist travel firms providing Cricket-based travel packages, but booking flights, accommodation and match tickets yourself could save £100s. A self-booked, self-catering apartment that sleeps two will cost from as little as £200 a week on either island. Head to tripadviser.co.uk to find the ideal accommodation then contact the owner direct.
Buy match tickets: If your trip to watch the cricket is a last-minute decision, you can check availability and buy tickets right here. Just click on your match of choice. You can even get a preview of the view from your seat. Expect to pay just £10-£20 for your match tickets.
Here’s what’s in store for the cricket…
Antigua: Temperatures are expected to hit highs of around 27-degrees C during the day, with evening temps falling to no lower than 23-degrees C. There’s a small risk of rain, for don’t expect any match days to be lost to the wet stuff.
Barbados: Temps in Bridgetown are forecast to hit 29-degrees C in daylight hours, with overnight lows of not less than 25-degrees C. There’s a 10 percent risk of short showers on match days, but these are not expected to disrupt the cricket.
Don’t forget to pack this essential kit for your day at the match:
Sun hat: Forget this and the Caribbean heat could easily result in sunstroke and a trip to hospital.
Sun screen: Go for maximum protection or it’s bbq time – with you on the menu.
Water: Alcohol and heat really don’t mix, so save your imbibing for the evenings – swapping booze for water at the match itself.
Sunglasses: Otherwise you’ll have the blinding time you weren’t hoping for.
Binoculars: If you’re serious about your cricket, then a set of image stabiliser binoculars are a must – expect to pay from £350+.
Transistor radio: Get a free ball-by-ball commentary straight to your earpiece as you watch the action live.
Say no to Facebook: You’ll be itching to indulge in a spot of social media bragging live from the ground, but save your photo uploads for the free wi-fi back at your hotel… or experience the horror of mobile phone bill shock.
Don’t bring an umbrella… Rihanna was born on Barbados, but if it does rain, you’ll probably appreciate the cool shower.
Buy your tickets…
Use the links below to snap up tickets for the matches in Antigua and Barbados.
One day international Tickets
West Indies V England – one day international 1 Sir Viv Richard Cricket Grounds – Buy tickets here
West Indies V England – one day international 2 Sir Viv Richard Cricket Grounds- Buy tickets here
West Indies V England – one day international 3 Sir Viv Richard Cricket Grounds- Buy tickets here
West Indies V England – 1st Twenty20 Kensington Oval, Barbados- Buy tickets here
West Indies V England – 2nd Twenty20 Kensington Oval, Barbados- Buy tickets here
West Indies V England – 3rd Twenty20 Kensington Oval, Barbados – Buy tickets here
Become a member of the barmy army
Finally, if this is your first trip to the cricket as member of the ‘Barmy Army’, you won’t want to feel left out in the stands. Learn some song lyrics here.
Enjoy your trip…