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Fans angry at legends' demands

By unknown | Apr 30, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

BRIDGETOWN - I need an autograph? It's $20 (R140); a photograph? That will set you back $100 (R700).

BRIDGETOWN - I need an autograph? It's $20 (R140); a photograph? That will set you back $100 (R700).

Barbadian cricket legends were making fans, already paying hotel rates which had trebled during the World Cup, even angrier by charging for signing an autograph book or posing for pictures.

The Cricket Legends of Barbados group, which includes the likes of Sir Garry Sobers, Charlie Griffith, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, made public appearances to raise funds to help build a centre of excellence.

"It's disgusting. I had to pay 100 dollars for a photograph with Sobers who I have adored since my childhood," said Surbeet Singh, who came from Manchester in England.

Heartbroken over India's first round exit and having to watch a meaningless Ireland-Bangladesh match instead, Singh went to the Barbados Business Club looking to get Sobers's autograph.

"I was amazed. The tour had already cost me over $15 000."

Journalists claim they were asked to pay $1 000 (R7 000) for an exclusive interview and little wonder Sobers was in the highest demand.

Fans could also take a sunset cruise with the stars for $200 (R1 400).

"It was a different kind of heartbreak to see the greatest of the greats, Sir Garry Sobers, at 73, and well looked after by life and his achievements, asking for 100 dollars for every picture his fans wanted to click with him," complained Indian newspaper the Daily Pioneer.

"He should have been thanking his young disciples for having loved him so intensely even 34 years after he retired from a game that has never been slim on heroes."

Fans said it was not the same on other islands. - Sapa-AFP


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