Champions Trophy 2017 Tour Diaries – Braving London Traffic & Dodgy Internet

The Oval

May 31 & June 1: Braving London Traffic & Dodgy Internet

I should have known. Just because I am away from those creaky roads of Mumbai doesn’t mean traffic won’t be an issue.

London has seen its issues with traffic. And I have worked for a company that has tried resolving those.

Doesn’t look like we did a great job.

In my previous innings, I worked for a software firm called Mastek.

Mastek were one of the software contracts involved in introducing the London Congestion Charge.

The OvalLondoners will know. They have had to shell out a few quid every travelling day. It’s a charge people pay to travel between zones in London.

But let me not get all technical and bore you out this early. Fact is, I am late for the toss at first game of the Champions Trophy between England and Bangladesh.

Why? Traffic.

Congestion.

Come on Mastekeers. Buck up.

I digress again. But that’s what happens when it’s the first game of the tournament, there are long queues outside the stadium and you are late for the toss.

Not that I was needed by the ICC to toss the coin or call heads or tails. Still, always good to be on time.

Insult to injuries, and my allocated seat in the press box, it cannot get worse. I can see only the left side of the field. Can hardly be called left-field.

After a few overs of struggling to make any great predictions on what the ball’s doing once it’s hit to the right, I try to change my seat.

The new one is outside the main press box and both sides of the field are available for viewing.

Behind me is this:

Peak Product Placement. Twin-ing Tea with the Waugh Twins.

Also seems like the English love their fish. For the second lunch in a row, that’s served and it’s slightly bland to my Indian tongue. Tasty enough but bland.

And I am not even a spicy-food lover.

The game is rather one-sided. England run into a few issues with player fitness & yet, carve away a lopsided victory with plenty to spare.

Mashrafe Mortaza admits they could have scored 330-340 but what’s probably left unsaid is Bangladesh batted more defensively than they should have in the last 15 overs, especially given they had lost just two wickets.

Tamim Iqbal also speaks to the media and plays down his spat with Ben Stokes like it’s another lovers’ tiff. What happens on the field, remains on the field. Sort.

Oh, and after what seems like a million years, I bowl. In the indoor Oval nets.

It’s not quite a hard cricket ball and the batsman I am bowling to is no Joe Root, the ball comes out well out of my hand.

Three balls drop right on the penny before I bowl a wide down the leg-side. That London dew I tell you. Makes it difficult to grip the ball. Huh.

Record a video but internet continues to remain an issue.

Uploading videos in London has been a pain I won’t want on my worst enemy.

Probably I exaggerate but you get the gist. Seven minute vids need five hours of upload time.

I could fly to neighbouring country which has quicker internet, upload our vids and return back to London.

It’s that bad.

About Suneer Chowdhary 86 Articles
Cricket Analyst | Freelance Cricket Writer | Cricket Radio | Cricket Videos | Football | Tennis

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