I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…

Chennai Beach
What we have to look forward to, Main beach in Chennai

When Dorothy stepped out of her battered farmhouse in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and uttered those famous words to Toto, she would never have thought they would have been applied so widely. While I may not have travelled to Chennai from Kansas, I can understand the sentiment. I know for a fact that when I get off this plane I am sitting in, I definitely will not be in Wellington, New Zealand, anymore.

As I prepare to tour India for the first time, I am trying to prime my senses for the shock that lies ahead and the impact this tour will have on my view of the world.

Sure there are the cricket matches to be played, but I imagine you can only really play at your best in India once you have come to terms with the sensory bombardment and logistics, both distinct from back home. There are several major differences that will be distractions if they are not dealt with and accepted.

Firstly, there is the oppressive heat. Chennai’s 37 degC is three times the temperature in Wellington today, a chilly 12 degC. Ice vests are packed and the battle to stay hydrated, while not drinking the tap water will be one requiring vigilance by all.

Secondly, there are the sights, sounds and smells that greet you round every corner.

The cows and cars sharing the streets.

The spices and silk being traded from stalls.

And the looks of awe and mischievous smiles from the local kids.

Every corner will be a postcard of India, showing the good and bad that comes with its booming industry. Images that will last a lifetime.

Finally, the irony of the sense of isolation in a country so populous. Unfortunately, when you tour India as a cricket team you do not have the freedom to wander out of the hotel whenever you please. Many of the things we take for granted at home are not available or accessible without an escort. There will be rare opportunities to venture outside and these will most probably provide the most excitement.

This is where the real adventure begins.

Missions on Tuk-tuks through town, speaking to the locals, sampling local cuisine and long days exploring would be a typical tourists day. We will not have such freedom, but opportunities will be precious and just as rewarding .
The cricket looks like it will be very competitive with other sides in the Buchi Babu tournament featuring several players from the recent Indian tour of New Zealand. Playing in a two-day format will be a bit unusual but will mean for plenty of opportunities and a chance to play many sides in quick succession.

It all lays ahead of me and I hope you will join me for a live chat from India in the coming weeks to find out how I am getting on. I am really excited about the opportunity to chat online and answer all your questions so keep an eye out for more information coming soon.

My Zimbio
KudoSurf Me!


Good luck surviving the heat Peter!

Comment by Joseph | 12:00am GMT 8 August 2009

Sorry to see you were dismissed for 3 today.

Congrats on the win though!

Comment by Sue | 12:00am GMT 11 August 2009

Peter. I live in Chennai. The weather is better compared to what we went through in May/June. Be careful with the street food and stick to bottled water. The people are quite friendly and cricket crazy. Wish you a good time here.

Comment by Bagapath | 12:00am GMT 12 August 2009

Thanks for the advice Bagapath, we are playing our second warm up game at the moment and I did a bit better with 28 today caught right on the boundary. Another foot higher and it would have been 6!

If you are free tomorrow feel free to come down to the ground and say hello. We will be fielding all day but I may be able to wave out to you or say Hi during a break.

We are playing at the main ground where Madras Cricket Club is and the Chennai Super Kings are based.

The main Buchi Babu tournament will start soon and all our games are at that stadium.

I have enjoyed my time here so far, have ventured out to see a few of the sights and have avoided the street food as you mentioned. It is difficult to know what to visit as it is my first time here. Maybe you can recommend something to do on our days off.


Comment by Peter McGlashan | 12:00am GMT 12 August 2009

Bagapath- Apparently their might be a little article in the Deccan Chronicle tomorrow. You’ll have to pick up a copy!

Comment by Peter McGlashan | 12:00am GMT 12 August 2009

Mahabalipuram is a good place to visit while staying at Chennai.

Haven’t really followed this series thus far. All the best for your remaining games anyway.

Comment by Meatbag | 12:00am GMT 15 August 2009

I don\’t think it’s a huge problem for you to go out alone. As long as you don’t take a Brett Lee with you (he’s all over the Indian airwaves). The big cities are usually full of foreigners, but obviously I don’t know the situation with NZC and their recommendations for safety.

Definitely try the food (do try the southern Indian specialties).

Good luck in India, and watch out for the water! Although if I was in your opposition, I might invite you out for some friendly dinner the night before, sure to give you a bombay belly :p…….

Comment by Manan Shah | 12:00am GMT 16 August 2009

Oh, no!!!!!! Just saw the replies from Peter. I would have loved to visit him at the ground. Didn’t get on the net for two weeks for once in three years and I miss this opportunity. Sorry, Peter. It is my loss. Hope I meet you next time you are in Chennai.

Comment by Bagapath | 12:00am GMT 9 September 2009

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