The greatest party in sport

Richard Branson cricket

With cricket fever in full swing, it is my pleasure to announce that Virgin are an official partner of the Antigua Hawksbills in this years new Caribbean Premier League. Twenty20 cricket is always an exciting competition but in the Caribbean it will surely be the greatest party in sport.

Im looking forward to heading over to Antigua to watch their game against the Barbados Tridents on August 13th. It will be one of the last chances to see the great Ricky Ponting bat, alongside some top West Indies talents like Marlon Samuels and Kieron Powell. Plus, the carnival atmosphere in the stadium has to be seen to be believed.

We were especially keen to support the Antigua Hawksbills as they are being coached by my old friend Sir Viv Richards. One memorable time I shared with Viv was when we launched the very first Virgin Atlantic inaugural flight. With the plane full of journalists and photographers, we turned on the big TV screen to give them a view of the pilots manning their controls. Since this is our first flight, we thought you might like to share our view from the flight deck, and see what really happens when we take off, came the announcement.

When the plane started speeding along the runway, the pilots looked very relaxed, turning to each other, smiling and paying no attention to their controls. As we flew into the clouds one of the pilots, a West Indian, handed a joint to his co-pilot, who had long scruffy hair. There was deathly silence in the plane as everyone thought we were going to crash.

They the pilots their caps off to reveal it was actually Viv and Sir Ian Botham, with yours truly as flight engineer. It was a video we had filmed the previous day in a simulator. As you can see in the photo below, the whole plane fell about laughing!

Im sure well all have a lot of fun this time around too. And Viv, if the Hawksbills need an extra player, Ive hit a boundary or two in my time!

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