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Diary of the 17th Man – Feb 15

The 17th Man is emailing his diary entries in until he gets his own blog set up.

Feb15Think it’s OK to use the iPad now. We’ve made it through Singapore – next stop Chennai.  I don’t think the main touring party was stuck in Premium Economy, but it could have been worse.  The ABC correspondent, who the BCCI has snubbed by not accrediting for the tour, is stuck up the pack in the “lots of kids screaming” section.

After the shock of it all, Anthea was delighted with my call up.  As she said, a bit unexpected given my recent run of form, but I didn’t get picked when I was actually scoring runs, so, like umpiring decisions, you just have to take it as it comes.

Had to see Mum and Dad before I left.  They loaded us up with snags, baked potatoes, 4 veg and a slab of cheesecake.  My favourites, but not so good just before a flight.  Dad was a bit strange, claiming he had ‘indigestion’ and took the spaniel for a leak round the block.  He had a grim look.  I know what he felt – 17th bloody man and he has to keep it quiet for a while. Not quite the triumphant payback for 15 years of backyard arm-rolling, 1,000 hours of sunburn and schoolboy cricket, not to mention scoring (badly), coaching U9s – U12s with all those feral parents, and controversial stints as an umpire.  I get that.  How does he think I feel?

Mum was pleased.  “17th man,” she said.  “You never know in India,” she said (she has never been there).  “You can only eat curry and Gungadins Balls for so long before 4 or 5 of them keel over and you’re out there taking guard in a test, sweating like a thoroughbred. You’ll play.”

I don’t know about that, but at least I’m on the plane. There’s one Shield player in particular who missed selection who’ll be dark when he finds out I’ve got a ticket – but that will teach ‘im – that huge spat in the dressing room cancelled out his 4 Shield tons this season. Wish I could send him a friendly text to gloat.

The food’s coming around again, so I guess I’ll follow Nanna’s Travel Tips and have the curry.  She reckons eating curry on Air India should be safe. There’s one thing for sure about any “western” food option – it’s been back and forth between Chennai and Singapore so many times it could have earned an upgrade to business class on points.  Lucky salad, I say.

Better get some sleep after that.  I’ll have to stay awake through the tour game tomorrow, it’s sure to be a yawn sitting around watching the team fumble around in the dust.


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