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After the hurricane

Adam Mountford | 23:30 UK time, Saturday, 14 April 2007

Grenada - During our latest Test Match Special broadcast from the magnificent new Grenada stadium Arlo White mentioned on commentary that 1980s pop star Billy Ocean lives on the island.

Apparently, he has a house in Brizan around six miles up the coast from the capital St George's.

As any pop trivia fan will tell you Billy Ocean's biggest hit was When the going gets tough, the tough get going and in many ways that could be an anthem for the people of Grenada.

This island was devastated by Hurricane Ivan only three years ago and the fact we are broadcasting a Cricket World Cup match from a rebuilt stadium in Grenada is in many ways a miracle.

The Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said at the opening ceremony last month that the easy thing for Grenada to have done when the hurricane struck was to pull out of hosting World Cup matches. But when the going got tough, the people of Grenada got going.

At lunchtime during the South Africa v New Zealand match Kevin Howells had a chat with one of those Grenada residents.

Ashley Cummins is a teacher on the island who is working as a volunteer at the World Cup matches.

He is also a local DJ who told Kevin that when the hurricane struck in September 2004 he was actually on the air doing his radio programme.

Ashley explained that the roof of the radio station was blown off by the 160mph winds. He described Grenada as looking like a "garbage heap" with 90% of the buildings on the islands damaged.

Ashley admitted that the long term effects of the hurricane will be felt for many years. The spice nutmeg is one of the island's main exports but the damage to the crop means it could take more than 15 years before it will properly recover.

And it's not just the physical damage. Ashley has had to go through counselling to help get over the event.

But overall his story was a very positive one. As well as a teacher and DJ Ashley told TMS he has worked as a cricket coach.

Just a few months after Hurricane Ivan struck he told us that he had coached a Grenada cricket side to victory in a Windward Islands tournament.

Every time they took a wicket the team shouted out "Ivan blew away our houses, but not our minds".

The real symbol of Grenada's recovery is this highly impressive stadium.

It was originally built in 1998, but was almost totally destroyed by the hurricane.

However Roy O'Neale, chief executive of the local organising committee, has been quotes as saying "Ivan did the Grenada stadium a favour... The original design had to be scrapped. We had a second chance to correct what was a fairly unsatisfactory venue."

Ashley told TMS that the island's motto before independence was "Ivan put us into darkness. But this new stadium has brought light for Grenada"

He added: "This is our time to celebrate. The people of Grenada should be so proud that they have been able to play a part in the Cricket World Cup after what happened to the island."

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