Jamaica is the largest of the cricket-playing West Indian islands, at over 4000 square miles (compared to Barbadosís 166, for example) and boasting 2.5million inhabitants. Itís also a long way from the other cricket hotbeds, lying due south of Cuba and about 1200 miles from both Barbados and Trinidad.
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Sabina Park in Kingston has staged regular Test cricket since West Indiesí first home series, in 1929-30, but in recent years it has struggled to overcome the farce of the 1998 Test which was abandoned on the first day because of a substandard pitch.
Readily available for Tests, although can be cramped when England are visiting, but harder to come by for the ODIs. There are usually locals offering seats but it can be hit and miss where you end up, and a day in the bleachers, while entertaining, might be too much. Click here for a Roving Reporter.
Lots for the tourist, apart from the cricket Ė highlights include the Blue Mountains, Dunnís River Falls at Ocho Rios, where you can swim in the pools below a 600ft waterfall (in the nearby sea you can swim with the dolphins, too), and, for the stately-home buff, Rose Hall at Montego Bay overlooks an old-style sugar plantation. Or if youíre a reggae fan, thereís the Bob Marley Museum in Kingstonís Hope Road. Michael Holding told the Daily Telegraph last year (2004): ďBarbados hasnít even got a molehill, much less a mountain. It is small, it has no rivers, it is the least spectacular of the islands. Yet everyone goes there, especially the British, to their Little England. It seems they enjoy that culture, which is why Barbados has the most stable economyÖ [but] I remember my friend Walter Swinburn, the jockey, coming here for the first time to recuperate after a racing accident in Hong Kong. Previously he had only been to Barbados, but I showed him some of this country and he just could not believe how beautiful it was.Ē
Less cricket-orientated than Barbados or Antigua, but possibly a better destination for a family holiday, as long as you heed the warnings about which places to avoid.