Several hundred well-wishers turned out to greet the West Indies team as they were hosted to a ‘home away from home’ event at the Perth Cultural Centre on Sunday.
Fans, many of them from the West Indians were dressed their maroon jerseys and others showcased their island’s national colors. They joined the team at a street party-styled evening which took on a distinct Caribbean flavor with music and food.
The event was the city’s official welcome for the team and was jointly organized by the Perth Caribbean Society and the City of Perth council.
West Indies captain Jason Holder presented a specially signed West Indies team shirt to Dr Kim Hames. Tahj Reid, a 12-year-old Jamaican, sang “Rally Round The West Indies”. After the formal programme the players signed autographs and took photos with their adoring fans.
“We didn’t really expect so many people but after we went on stage to be introduced and say hello to the fans, we were truly touched,” said allrounder Darren Sammy, the West Indies T20 captain. “We have a great track record in Perth and we feel ‘at home’ here. This is great! This is really inspiring to see how much the people love West Indies cricket.”
West Indies, two-time World Cup champions, have won two matches and lost two in Pool B of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. They are in Perth to face India at the WACA Ground on Friday. First ball in the day/night match is 2:30pm (2:30am Eastern Caribbean Time/1:30am Jamaica Time).