Not in a month of Sundays would one would have expected the IMF to talk about cricket. But that’s exactly what it has done in an article in its publication Finance and Development. Reason: Barbados has issued a currency note with cricket on it. It features three great Barbadians: Everton Weekes, Frank Worrell and Clyde Walcott.

Worrell was the first black man to lead the West Indies. He won practically all his matches. Sadly, he died of leukaemia in 1967 when he was just 42.

Seven years earlier he had led his team to the famous tie against Australia at Brisbane.

The irony is that this is being done when cricket is no longer the preferred sport in the West Indies.

Why Barbados? Well, “Of the 385 men to play test cricket for the West Indies since 1928, 90 are from Barbados,” says the article. Sir Garfield Sobers was one of them.

And in this context here’s a true story from 1995. Sobers was a sort of roving ambassador for Barbados at the time and came to India. The flight had landed at about 1 am. With diplomatic status he didn’t need a visa. But the immigration officer at the Delhi airport had never heard of him and detained him.

Sobers demanded to see the supervisor who was vaguely aware but wasn’t taking any chances. So he rang up his boss, who rang up his boss, who rang up his boss, and finally the chain stopped at the chief passport officer’s bedside phone. It was 3 am by then.

Fortunately, this officer was a great fan and immediately ordered that Sobers be allowed in and escorted to his hotel. Next morning, Sobers was driven to the passport office and received a standing ovation from the staff as he walked in. His passport was stamped while he was having a cup of tea with the CPO and his 11-year-old nephew.

The chief passport officer was my brother. And the nephew? Want to guess?