England continue to build towards the World Cup, but still have work to do!
England looked good albeit they were very shortened matches due to the rain, and one washout, the one game that we lost was a humiliating record breaking loss by a very average Sri Lankan side. Gone are their stars of yesteryear, with the likes of Sangakkara, Murali, Jayasuriya to name a few. They have a lot of work ahead of them but still managed to make England look like a disorganised rabble. Without the leadership of Eoin Morgan, it lacked the will to win, granted the series was already won, but remember Pakistan in the ICC Trophy? We do have an outstanding squad of players and those who are given the chance need to grasp it with both hands, the ones that want it more and have a will to succeed will come to the top. Michael Jordan once said there is no I in team but there is an I in win!
So we have said our emotional goodbyes to another great group, many friendships have been forged and I think great times has been had by all. Nobody said anything to the contrary to suggest otherwise. We had our inaugural cricket match – even Keith got into the act with two slips finishing up physically in the gully, before we found the best position for him as the scorer, with a pint and no danger of him falling over!
Having Hoggy on tour with us was a real coup, he was entertaining, knowledgeable and always the first to pitch in to anything that was required to make the trip go well.
Moving on from the cricket match we had our first Karaoke night which, with Steve’s help became more of event. Commencing with a surprise Q&A between Hoggy & Sir Richie Richardson which was an added unexpected bonus and huge success. Everyone was in the spirit of things before Steve opened up with Rhinestone Cowboy. The evening was great fun, although I doubt we would worry the judges in X Factor!
We also had our inaugural golf day, which finished all square. Hoggy did mention one being a bandit but enjoyed the golf at a great course just outside Kandy!
The end of tour dinner with Q&A at the Singhalese cricket ground with Hoggy interviewed very professionally by Mike Prentis (I think he might have a role to play there) started another great evening. We shared so many drinks & dinners together, not even the rain put a dampener on the tour. Some had bespoke itineraries and those on the group tour enjoyed the numerous site seeing opportunities which were included which gave us more of an insight to this great country.
I hope to see you all the ODi clients again, some are going on to Galle. I expect England will do well in the tests after a great series win over India in the summer. During the gap between Series I’m of fishing for 5 Days with JR Hartley aka Keith..
I would finish by saying it was a pleasure meeting you all, keep in touch and big thanks to Matthew Hoggard!
All the best,