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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 17:05 GMT
Kingston, Jamaica

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Phil Long, BBC Sport's man with the Barmy Army, takes an alternative look at the cities where England will play on their tour of the West Indies.

Here, Phil casts his eye over Jamaica and the capital Kingston, home of the famous Sabina Park.

It might be Barbados and Antigua that English fans flock to, but it is Jamaica that epitomises everything that is good (and sometimes bad) about touring the Caribbean.

Fortunately for those who fancy a taste of life on Bob Marley's home island (a museum to all things Marley is on the edge of Kingston), England spend over two weeks there, playing two three-day warm-up games before the first Test.

Jamaica is in no way the most expensive in the Caribbean, but there is still little good news for those on a budget.

It is rare to find anywhere for under US$20 (13) a night, and you'll normally end up paying double that to find a place with reasonable security and comfort.

Population: 660,000 (Kingston)
Airport: Norman Manley, 30 mins out of Kingston
Money: 1 = 114 Jamaican dollars
Time: five hours behind GMT
Average temperature: 20-30C in March
Rainfall: Average total of 23mm in March
British High Commission: 26 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 5
Matches: v Jamaica (1-3 March); v Vice Chancellor's XI (5-7 March); 1st Test (11-15 March)

Of course, if you are in Jamaica on a cricket package then it is unlikely you will opt to base yourself in Kingston itself.

However, if you do fancy a stroll around the city at the close of play, then take real care.

Kingston is a rough and ready place, and certainly not for the faint-hearted, so make sure you ask locally where to avoid and never wander around the city after dark.

Sampling Kingston life will give a real buzz to those looking to sample the true Jamaica, but for most English visitors it is all about slapping on the sun cream and slipping into ill-fitting beach wear.

If that is on your agenda, then heading to the island's three major resorts at Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios will provide everything you need and a good deal more.

For those with a bit more energy (hopefully still on a high after an England win), then climbing the island's highest point at Blue Mountain Peak (7,402 ft) or scrambling up the waterfalls with dozens of other tourists may be more your glass of fizzy lager.

Both inside and outside Sabina Park, your sense of smell is likely to be overloaded with Jamaican grub being prepared.

Jerked chicken cooked on a barbeque is available everywhere on the island and you shouldn't miss Jamaica's national dish of ackee and saltfish, a combination of salt cod and the local fruit.

Hunger pangs duly satisfied, you can sit back and soak up the unique atmosphere in the 15,000 capacity Sabina Park as England return to a ground where they've played two of their most memorable Tests of recent times.

In 1990, with Alec Stewart and Nasser Hussain making their Test debuts, England gained a famous victory - their first in the Windies for 16 years.

Eight years on, the Test was all over within an hour as the now infamous Sabina Park death strip caused the Test to be abandoned after just 61 balls.

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