I began my journey to India for the 2023 World Cup with slight trepidation, having only visited India once before, with barely a free day and forty nine days of traveling, sightseeing and of course cricket!
My journey from Heathrow was did not go to plan due to inclement weather so I missed my connecting flight and arrived five hours later than expected. With only an hour sleep on the plane, it just added to a feeling of anxiety!
I arrived at the hotel and prepared for my role as tour manager for the next couple of days.
The following morning we had a sightseeing tour around the city visiting Sabarmati (Gandhi Ashram) Hutheesing Jain temple, Sidi Saiyyed mosque, the Adalaj stepwell & Akshardham temple, seeing where Gandhi lived for six years in a house which is no bigger than your lounge. No idea why as there was a larger house just across, he lived here from 1917-1930. The house is now a museum and shows the life of Gandhi through the years. It was a fascinating insight to a man who was just so humble and followed by all of India.
The day has arrived and the 2023 World Cup starts here. I went to breakfast and on the adjoining table sat Eoin Morgan, my mind wandered back to that most memorable day at Lords and was thinking, penny for his thoughts. Was he thinking about that day? Especially as we play the same opponents today!
England are heavy favourites to win this match, but nothing would surprise me, as I have seen so many battles in recent years between them, but just like 2019 I thought it was between England & New Zealand. But this time I have obviously added India playing at home is a huge advantage! Australia could have a part to play, but will go with the three.
The morning of the match I was waiting for the lift which took forever, when it stopped on my floor I entered only to be with 5 NZ players, straight away we had a bit of chat & banter, chatting to their captain Kane Williamson asking if he was fit he replied fit ish! We arrived at Narendra Modi stadium, there are so many restrictions, searches and looking at our tickets before we were finally in the ground. Personally I think Lords is the benchmark for hospitality and restrictions, but India just take it too far. In Australia the ground slogan is slip, slap, slop for sunscreen but in India they take it off you! I’m disappointed in how we are treated to put it mildly, so many of our group have had stuff taken from them, it’s easier going through customs.
Anyway onto to the cricket, Having lost the toss we just didn’t get going, but having made 282, we thought it was a par score as the wicket looked slow, but how wrong were we, in all the matches I’ve seen between the sides in recent years, this was the biggest margin by far!
We left Ahmadabad for Shimla, sightseeing in Shimla was all about the scenery, we went on a train ride to Taradevi, then visited Viceregal Lodge, Sankat Mochan temple, Jackhoo temple, Fagu & Green valley which is one of the largest rain forests in Asia and high tea at Woodville Palace.
Our second match was at arguably the prettiest stadium in the world of cricket.
Some will differ but it’s right up there!
Once again we lost the toss but a much better all round performance by England, we certainly don’t want to peak too soon!
Our last couple of days where there was a lot more sightseeing visiting Dalai Lama Temple, Namgal Monastery, St John’s in the Wilderness, Norbulingka Institute, and a cable car in Mcleod Ganj.
Off to Delhi now with Ed from reservations joining us and an additional crowd for our Golden Triangle Tour and more cricket.
All the best