1. The West Indian crowd and atmosphere, all screams, reggae, banter and dancing – it is the best in cricket but only when people turn up. And this happens when they’re winning. In the 1989-90 series, you could watch in the UK the first, live, televised overseas England Tests. The first match came from Sabina Park and I watched. It was cricket but not as I knew it (perhaps because England won convincingly). This was as far from Lord’s as is possible – and it was magical. (The games are also on at the perfect time, just when you’re getting home from work/school.)
2. Shiv Chanderpaul. If West Indies do win, he’ll have scored loads of runs. I don’t want to watch him do it – he’s never that fun – but I do want it to happen. Chanderpaul deserves a great Test record and he’s getting there. He is the Grand Lord Megachief of Gold.
3. If West Indies win, new players will have to emerge in the process; Fidel Edwards will have to keep driving that bowling average down; Chris Gayle’s character will have to be all over the team. These are all good, entertaining things.
4. Cricket needs as many strong and viable Test-playing nations as possible. West Indies are close to not being one of those at present. A win against the original colonial enemy should reinvigorate interest within the islands. The old love of the game is still there, it just only comes out when quick bowlers are scaring the opposition and home batsmen are thrashing boundaries.
5. England are particularly charmless and dislikeable at present. Either the players love themselves or are petrified of voicing an opinion. There’s a swaggering expectation of success, in my view, which deserves to be shown up. It’ll give them a fright that will help the Ashes bid. And I certainly don’t want the Aussies to win that.
Edward Craig is deputy editor of The Wisden Cricketer