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Blogs - through my eyes

South Africa tour Sri Lanka, July 2013

The whole squad landed in Sri Lanka at Colombo Airport and we were all wearing our Number Ones- that’s our suit and tie. We got off the plane and walked into the airport where we waited for our luggage.

However after collecting our bags we walked through the doors into the outside world and we soon realised that the clothes we were wearing were not appropriate to the weather conditions because it was so humid everything was just sticking to us.

All we wanted to do when we were on the team bus was to get to the comfort of an air conditioned room. After an hour we got there and it was a lovely hotel beside a lake with a brilliant swimming pool which wasn’t heated but it felt like it with all the humidity that there was.

In Colombo we spent two days training after which we played a warm up game which we won against a Sri Lanka Board XI and that in fact was the only game we played during the day.

We batted first and myself and Hashim Amla opened the batting. I got out in the 24th over but it felt like I had been batting for two days in a sauna!

When we went out to field it felt a little bit easier and there a bit of breeze blowing thankfully. The locals told us that it was the start of the monsoon season and the weather was unpredictable and when it rained it felt just like a hot shower.

We then played the two ODIs in Colombo after which we drove up into the hill country to Kandy which was very different.

The drive to Kandy was beautiful with all of the greenery and the mountains. When we got there and got off the bus the temperatures were brilliant because it was the sort of heat that we were all used to and it felt very comfortable.

Kandy was a much more relaxed place to be compared to Colombo which was much more hustle and bustle and very busy.

At Kandy there is a large lake in the middle of the city and it feels like the British have been there by style of some of the buildings and a road lay outs, it was a really lovely place to be in.

Everybody in Sri Lanka was so friendly and smiling all the time, they are just fantastic. They are crazy about their cricket and they really know the game.

On the field they support their team of course but off it they were just brilliant and as you walked in the street going to a match or into the hotel everyone would say ‘good luck’ which was really heart warming to hear.

To be in a foreign country amid strange things it is great to feel that people are supporting you and in Sri Lanka it certainly felt like that.

A few years back Sri Lanka were not where they wanted to be with their cricket but they have worked very hard and now they are one of the top cricket nations and it has taken off big time.

Sri Lanka are probably one of the hardest teams to beat playing in their own conditions and they have proven it because when we won the first ODI in Kandy it was the first time in 19 years that South Africa had won an ODI there.

We knew it was going to be a tough tour because Sri Lankan cricket has come a long way and they have got some brilliant players.

The South African tour to Sri Lanka lasted about two and a half weeks and when it was over we flew back to Dubai and then I headed back to London to join up with Somerset again.

Alviro's Foundation

Alviro Petersen is committed to the development and empowerment of disadvantaged communities. The Alviro Petersen Foundation is a registered non-profit organization and invest in projects that focus on education and community upliftment.

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