Tobago’s Stewart wants to be the Yorke of cricket | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Tobago’s Stewart wants to be the Yorke of cricket

cricket Updated: Oct 22, 2009 00:59 IST
Deepti Patwardhan
Deepti Patwardhan
Hindustan Times
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The rum shops have been overflowing in Trinidad and Tobago ever since their team landed in India. In the tiny 116-square mile island of Tobago the rum were emptied with even more gusto on Sunday evening. Navin Stewart, the only Tobagonian in T&T's squad, had finally come off the bench and smashed 33 off 11 balls against the Diamond Eagles.

"Yeah, everyone back home is following my progress," said Stewart, a day later. "They even had a motorcade ride to celebrate it."

Though Stewart disagrees that Trinidad is the "elder brother" to his small island economically, as far as cricket goes Trinidad has been a towering force.

Trinidad have a rich cricket legacy, Tobago has produced just one Test cricketer-Lincoln Roberts. Stewart is the first Tobagonian to break into the T&T first-class team in five years.

The reason for the disproportionate representation is simple-what cricket is to Trinidad, soccer is to Tobago; while Trinidad had Brian Lara, Tobago had Dwight Yorke.

"Things have become worse since the 2006 World Cup," smiles Stewart, referring to the Soca warriors' entry into football World Cup in Germany. "But the way Dwight has put Tobago on the world map in football, I would like to do the same in cricket."

Tired of walking into a field full of football players, young Stewart took the 15-minute flight across to Trinidad. "I would have no-one to play with when I went to play cricket. Everyone would play football. It was really difficult to find someone who would bowl to me. So I preferred bowling alone at the stumps. Fast bowling is still my first job in the team."

Trinidad is making an effort to include Tobago in its cricket structure but for the Tobagonians breaking into the first-class team and the West Indian team has been a struggle. The hard-working Stewart is looking break the trend.