Antigua counts mixed blessings
There is a saying here in Antigua that "every disappointment is a blessing".
Well, perhaps the rushed relocation of the Antigua Test match from the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium to the Antigua Recreation Ground is a blessing in disguise.
The last 24 hours have certainly demonstrated what can be achieved when people pull together to try and solve a problem.
I remember turning up at the ARG a week ago to watch England practise and being struck by the unique atmosphere of the old ground, even though some parts of it are well past their best.
Not for a moment did any of us imagine that a few days later we would be back at the ground to watch an impromptu Test match.
I mentioned in my blog on Friday that I hoped we would be able to bring Test Match Special to you on Sunday, but I could not be sure that our broadcast lines would be in place in time.
However, when I arrived at the stadium on Saturday morning I found out that the local telecommunications engineers had been working through the night to install our lines.
Our commentary box is at the back of the press box and it is fair to say it has seen better days, but when I arrived to take a look I was greeted by numerous locals who had been employed to clean, paint and repair the facilities so that broadcasts can be made in relative comfort.
More importantly, lots of people had also been working through the night to make the pitch and outfield as good as they possibly could be and to make sure the seating for the frustrated spectators would be safe come Sunday.
On Saturday evening, match referee Alan Hurst gave the stadium the go-ahead and we are told the first day at least will be a complete sell-out with the 8,000 England supporters expected to pack out the famous "double decker stand" and the grass verges, christened the "party stand" for this game.
We now have to hope for two things. Firstly, that the weather improves - there were torrential rain showers on Saturday afternoon and more rain is expected this week. The people here deserve good weather after the hard work they have put in.
Secondly, we hope the pitch holds up and that some of the predictions of a "lively surface" make for an exciting match rather than another farce. I know everyone has done what all can and the players from both sides have shown great understanding to get this fixture on.
Perhaps the reason the island has rallied so quickly to make this game possible is that many locals believe Test cricket is returning to its rightful home in Antigua.
It is not only the problems with the playing area at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium which have made the venue unpopular, it is also the fact that the ground is inaccessible to many Antiguans.
It is perhaps an exaggeration to say the new ground is in the middle of nowhere but talking to the people here, they want to watch their cricket in the heart of St John's and would have happily swapped the plush new stadium for a return to the Recreation Ground even before Friday's fiasco.
It now looks likely that a ground which had become more of a football stadium could against all the odds return as Antigua's main international cricket venue.
It certainly promises to be a special atmosphere when Test Match Special goes on the air at 1345 on Five Live Sports Extra and just before the start of play on Radio Four Long wave. As well as ball-by-ball commentary, we hope to hear from the West Indies Cricket Board about what lessons will be learnt from this difficult week.
You will also be able to hear our interview with former England coach Peter Moores which we were due to play during lunch on Friday. Moores will be telling us his thoughts on his time with England and his hopes for his new job as head coach at Lancashire.
We'll be hearing from Martin Bodenham who, after time as a FIFA football referee, is about to begin work as a first class umpire. And we'll have a special report on cricketers from a Caribbean background in English cricket and ask why, after the success of the likes of Phil Defreitas, Alex Tudor, Devon Malcolm and Gladstone Small to name but four, so few players from the West Indian community seem to be breaking through in the English game.
Jonathan Agnew will, of course, be leading our team again with Christopher Martin Jenkins, Tony Cozier, Vic Marks, Geoff Boycott and - if he's calmed down yet - Sir Vivian Richards. Don't forget that after play each day you will be able to download the Test Match Special podcast.
Finally Aggers mentioned to me at breakfast that a thought had struck him in the middle of the night. Friday, the day of the 10-ball Test match, was of course also the day when the funeral was held for Bill Frindall who very sadly died a fortnight ago.
All our thoughts are obviously with his widow Debbie and his family. But Aggers said to me: "You know Bill would always delight in telling us he was born on the first day of the famous "timeless Test" -the longest ever match between England and South Africa in Durban in 1939 which lasted 10 days.
"Well," continued Aggers "it just had to be the case that Bill's funeral was held on the day of the shortest ever Test."
I think Bill would rather have liked that.