An island nation in the Caribbean Sea, Antigua and Barbuda are considered to be a part of the West Indies. It comprises two major islands and a number of smaller islands. It is believed the island of Antigua was explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and named for the Church of Santa María La Antigua. Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the Commonwealth and Britain’s Elizabeth II is the country’s queen and head of state.
As with many islands in the Caribbean, hurricanes are a threat and strike on average, once a year. In September 2017, Hurricane Irma damaged or destroyed 95% of Barbuda’s buildings and infrastructure and as a result, all the island’s inhabitants were evacuated to Antigua. The country’s economy depends on tourism as its major sector, with investment banking and financial services a close second.
Cricket is the national sport and their national cricket team represented the country at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. The 2007 Cricket World Cup was hosted in the West Indies from 11 March to 28 April 2007. Notable cricket players from the country are Brian Lara and Viv Richards.