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Blogs - through my eyes

Amazing India

It's been a few days since I arrived in India with the rest of the Highveld Lions squad and back room staff. Taking part in this years T20 Champions League is a reward for what we did as a team domestically last season and also gives us more experienced guys and younger players a platform to show what we can do in a global competition.

Having flew from Johannesburg, we arrived at Mumbai at 1am where a 5 hour transit awaited us. Travelling and waiting around is not the most exciting part of a professional cricketers life but I must say we were kept highly entertained by non other than Mr Gulam Bodi. As is the case when tiredness catches up with the body, most of the touring party was fast asleep once we had boarded our flight to Ahmedabad, which thankfully only took an hour.

On arrival in Ahmedabad we were escorted by the police force alongside the Champions League T20 staff who, I must say, ensured we reached our hotel safely. Once we arrived at the hotel, as captain I sensed that our players knew we had truly arrived for what is such a fantastic competition. Before we departed for India, we had taken care of our preparations well and made sure we could compete fiercely and hopefully bring some silverware back to South Africa.

Sensibly, as a team we used our first couple of days on Indian soil to adjust to conditions and familiarise ourselves with the heat that we are expected to perform in once the tournament got started. It was a great opportunity to also soak up the culture and the experience of playing cricket in a foreign country, which I am always grateful for. I must mention India will always be a special place for me, as it was the place I scored my maiden test hundred on debut and in doing so, becoming only the third player in South African history to do so. As for the other guys in the squad, I'm sure they see it as a great opportunity especially the younger player’s as I'm sure it will benefit their careers greatly in the long term.

Cricket aside for the moment, India is a fascinating landscape, immensely filled with historic tradition and spirituality. India was the birthplace of Buddhism and features an array of ancient temples and artefacts. Our job here is to play cricket but in the back of the mind it is healthy knowing that we are in a deeply historical region of the world. With India being the second largest nation based on population, our small party of players are excited by this opportunity to compete on such a big stage. Speaking on behalf of the rest of guys, we are extremely grateful of the kind hospitality and comfort we have received from people here.

With this eagerness in mind, it was a disappointment to have our first game against Perth Scorchers abandoned, after I had won the toss and elected to bowl first. Unfortunately for us Mother Nature opened her heavens and the rain was severe.

The Highveld Lions were looking to put an opening win on the board but now we must travel and focus our attention on our next game against Rajastan Royal. I foresee a competitive fixture, as this game is in their own backyard. Hopefully for the spectators the rain stays away and this cricket loving people can witness a great spectacle. We will be trying our best to get a win for our supporters back home and to represent South African domestic cricket in a good fashion.

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