Tuesday 29 January 2013 

Jamaica, Headley And The Heyday Of Costa Rican Cricket

Cricket in Limon

Cricket in Limon in 1986

Cricket is still played in Costa Rica thanks to the remarkable efforts of an English coconut planter, Richard Illingworth. Costa Rica is an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Limon still fields a team, which still betrays the characteristics which Longfield would recognise so well; a good eye for a cricket ball, a desire to hit every delivery for six, poor field placement and infectious enthusiasm for the game. To this day there is still a Lance Binns cup and a Standford Barton League, the latter in honour of a player who toured Jamaica on all three occasions. However the big difference is that, though intensely proud of their Jamaican heritage, the black residents of the Atlantic Coast have Costa Rican nationality, speak Spanish and have become fanatical followers of football.

©TAWW (2012)

Acknowledgements. I am grateful  to Delroy Barton for the photograph of  the old British Consulate  in Limon  and to Richard Illingworth for the Pathfinders in 1937. My thanks to City of Bristol Museum for the image of SS Ariguani. My general thanks to the Jamaica Gleaner and to the Costa Rica Cricket Federation and to the late Standford Barton, Lance Binns and Sylvester Cunningham who originally told me this story, which is for educational purposes and not for commercial gain.

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