My time at Hebron school has come to an end and among heart felt goodbyes and promises to keep in touch there was definitely a happiness at the thought of coming home. Before home though was an important detour in my itinerary – a trip to Nagpur to watch Australia play New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup.
|My Business Studies Class. From Left Vikas, Anand, |
Pratul, Mr Isaac, Debbie, Sarah, Me, Kiran, Nishant
When you think of world class sporting tournaments you think of packed stadiums, excited crowds and exciting sport. All these were on the menu at the Vidarbha Cricket Association ground today, however one of my lasting memories will be one thing that isn’t commonly linked to cricket’s major spectacle - the ticket booth. Now a ticket booth is not an especially glamorous term and it was therefore an appropriate term for the shack outside the VCA ground in Nagpur. I had booked my ticket online a month ago and selected the ‘venue pick-up’ option on Kyazoonga.com knowing how long things can take in India, I left my hotel at 5.45am for the 9.30 start and arrived at Jamtha (where the stadium is) at around 6.30. As I walked around the ground I couldn’t see an identifiable ticket sales counter and so I began asking the security staff. They directed me to a temporary shack about 200m away from the stadium and said ‘ticket, ticket 8 am’. It dawned on me that I would have a significant wait before anyone could help me so I struck up a conversation with some of the locals. One man in particular was outlining to me the difference between Indians and Pakistanis… “Indians nice people, pleasant people. Pakistan nasty people – they murder their coach” referring to the tragic death of the Pakistani coach (Bob Woolmer) at the last World Cup.
|In the background, one of the most impressive structures in |
Nagpur. In the foreground, well, its hardly a structure is it?
At around 8am, a man wearing a shirt of the ticketing company (Kyazoonga) stepped out of a rickshaw. He had a small backpack on and he climbed into the back of the shack and the mob of people wanting tickets started queuing up for their precious pieces of cardboard which would enable them access to the stadium.
|Wing North, Gate 6, Bay V, Level 3, Seat 310. Could|
have said anything, there were no allocated seats.
I handed over my confirmation pages and the mysterious backpack man gave me my ticket. Hardly the seamless sort of set up you would expect at a World Cup, but I had my ticket and a day at the cricket beckoned. I was a volunteer writer for cricinfo for the game, so you can read my review on this page.
It was a fantastic game and a great way to spend my last Friday in India. Tomorrow I head back to Mumbai to have a final Church service with the Vision Rescue guys before heading back to Sydney on Sunday night. I can’t believe its come to an end already.
Thank God for the time he has blessed me with in
Thank God for my safety and good health
Ask God for continued safe travel over the next few days
Ask God to help me adapt back to normal life when I get home