Champions Trophy 2017 Tour Diaries – Safe Landing & ‘Sound Sleeping’

May 24-25: Safe Landing & ‘Sound Sleeping’

Having travelled to the USA last year, a nine-hour long flight didn’t sound too cumbersome, although it can get a tad stressful sometimes. What can make it even tougher is if it takes you a couple of hours to get out of the airport after being grilled for having supposedly applied for the wrong visa.

Everything turns out to be okay in the end – wouldn’t have been the end otherwise – and about an hour or so later I am settled in my apartment in central London. My? The one my friend’s booked.

There’s barely any time to rest​ though​. By the time I hit the bed – ​having asked my friend a question & snored away before the answer was complete, no less – it’s 1 am but more importantly the English summers have an early sunrise to welcome me.

As early a​s what seems like 4 am​.

The jet-lag coupled with that early light is enough to shake me off my slumber. I barely catch a wink again.

A few hours later what I do manage to catch is the famous London red double-decker. And the London traffic.Champions Trophy Tour Diaries - The Oval

The bus barely moves off the first gear and a half for most part of that journey which takes me to the accreditation centre at The Oval.

Interestingly, the first ever software firm I worked for all those years ago, was responsible in deploying the technology that helps ease the traffic using the London Congestion Charge.

Compliments welcome. For any brickbats, contact that firm directly.

I almost forget my camera at the accreditation centre before one of the volunteers rushes after me to return it back.

It’s just day one & I am already forgetting things. Probably the excitement.

​He tells me he’s played in the local leagues in Tamil Nadu for India Cements. What goes nicely with that fact is he’s in a yellow jersey the ICC has provided them with. Coincidence?

​A few miles away I attend my first press conference for the tournament. It’s Virat Kohli & among other things he says – and makes a lot of sense – is why he loves playing in England. He can go on long walks without getting hounded by fans.

There’s no doubting the stark difference in which Indian cricketers are revered at home and away.

As I tweet about this press conference, someone messages me asking if I could reveal where the Indian team is staying so that he can catch a glimpse. His is not the first such message anyway. I politely decline.

​Angelo​ Mathews is happy to take on the tag of the underdog but is quick to dismiss any (idle) chat around their shock defeat at the hands of Scotland.

Says they were just warming up. Experimenting.

Baker's Street Champions Trophy​Kane Williamson has a Brendon McCullum-like streak of humour. Doesn’t seem to have a wicked bone but the jokes are sharp.

One question into his press conference, there is a lull as journalists think of the next one. Williamson thanks everyone and pretends to leave the room leaving the scribes surprised for a second before the joke dawns upon them.

​While returning back ‘home’, pass through the famous Baker ​Street station. Seems quite deserted.

But its aura, probably through years of associating the equally famous Sherlock Holmes with it, ensures the lack of people does nothing to dim my excitement of having spotted it.

Record a video for WorldCricketChat.com before exhaustion hits hard.

For the second time in as many days, I doze off in the middle of a conversation.

About Suneer Chowdhary 81 Articles
Cricket Analyst | Freelance Cricket Writer | Cricket Radio | Cricket Videos | Football | Tennis

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