Ed in India - Days 10,11 and 12
It was time for the crunch match v South Africa in Mumbai. After a short transfer to the stadium, we were in the ground and the anthems were being played. It seemed to be an awfully hot day compared to what we had experienced so far. The following day we were told that this was the third hottest day in Mumbai in October in 10 years, that would explain it! A massive total was set by South Africa, with the England players seemingly giving in to the heat. With England needing a mammoth 400 runs to win the game, it was always going to be a big challenge to win the match.
Unfortunately we just could not compete with a strong South African bowling attack, meaning that England were bowled out for just 170, with our highest scoring batters being number 9 & 10. Although the cricket did not go as we had hoped, the group still enjoyed a day experiencing the Wankhede Cricket Stadium. As this was another match scheduled on a weekend, there were plenty of locals in attendance to boost the atmosphere inside the ground.
After the match, myself and a few of our group headed to the local Mockingbird bar, to discuss the day that we had just had before returning to our hotel ahead of our final full day.
It was our final full day of our incredible India tour. We had opted for a later start today with a pickup time of 10am, given that a lot of the group stayed up to watch the England Rugby World Cup semi final in their room, in hope that we could beat the South Africans at something! That wasn’t to be either.
On our half day tour we saw the sights of Mumbai City, including where Ghandi used to live, a public garden and the Gateway of India.
I particularly enjoyed passing the Oval Maidan. This is where cricket is practiced by locals. There must be 6/7 cricket squares on this rectangular field and hundreds of children and adults seemed to be enjoying their Sunday matches! As a keen club cricketer in the English summer, this was particularly pleasing to see.
At night we ventured to Khyber Restaurant, recommended by one of our travellers Dipin. This is a restaurant that has been frequented by some big names in the past including Paul McCartney. I can see why, as the food and ambiance in the restaurant was excellent. A fitting final meal for what had been a fantastic tour.
Sadly it was time to depart India, with the group going their separate ways today.
Gary had a particularly early start, with him plus 3 others flying to Aurangabad to take in some more sightseeing (yes, I was jealous that he was staying on). I had a 10:25 departure with Virgin, flying back with the same group that I flew out with. There was also another group travelling back with British Airways a bit later on. The flight went smoothly and we landed early back at London Heathrow.
The worst part was having to say goodbye to group members once we had all claimed our bags. It was great to have gotten to know them all over the past 12 days and was an experience that I will never forget.
As someone who wasn’t sure what to expect from India, I would highly recommend it to anyone that loves travelling and cricket.
We are going back there in 2025 for the Womens World Cup. If you are thinking about coming along, then give us a call today, you won’t regret it!