The Bracegirdle Blog:
Lions, Lara & The Dalai Lama
Comment and Analysis | 21st May 2011
Spending most of my summer at assorted cricket grounds, watching any television is a bit of a rarity but I do try and catch a glimpse of the IPL when I can.
I know this is almost ‘Marmite’ territory but I can’t resist watching cricket at any level and when the opportunity is there to see individual battles, pitting the likes of Malinga against Gayle or Steyn bowling to Tendulkar, then I have to watch when I can.
The big problem with that tournament though, is trying to identify with any of the teams – they are all mini-World X1s and their make-up, background and regional associations don’t affect me.
"Now, Brian Lara doesn’t know me in any way, shape or form – I’ve never even interviewed him. On this occasion though, he must have felt I was ‘someone’ because he warmly shook my hand and said, “Hello mate, how are you?”
I have, however, found myself supporting Kings X1 Punjab this year. Obviously there’s the David Hussey factor – but also, I was lured in by a bit of pre-tournament promotional work.
When we were in Dubai for the Emirates Airline T20 tournament (won by Notts, I should add!) the sponsors had flown in Adam Gilchrist, Shaun Marsh and Dinesh Karthik to try and whip up some enthusiasm. I have to say, after interviewing them all, I have became an honorary Punjabi fan.
Their last two home matches have been played at a town called Dharamsala in the Himalayan foothills. If you caught those games you will have seen the breathtaking views of the snow-topped mountains – but you may not have caught the post-match photographs of the players visiting the town’s most famous resident – the Dalai Lama.
I will enjoy talking to ‘Huss’ about meeting the Buddhist leader because not too much is known about him in this part of the world, despite various search engines describing him as one of the most famous men on the planet.
But what constitutes fame?
Nowadays, reality show wannabes seem to become ‘famous’ overnight – simply for being in the public eye. My own favourite moment came a few years ago when the West Indies were playing at Trent Bridge. I walked into the pavilion with a group of friends just as Brian Lara came through a doorway.
Now, Brian Lara doesn’t know me in any way, shape or form – I’ve never even interviewed him. On this occasion though, he must have felt I was ‘someone’ because he warmly shook my hand and said, “Hello mate, how are you?”
Not surprisingly I went up in the estimation of those that were present!
For obvious reasons I won’t be dwelling too much on the performance of Lara’s former county, Warwickshire, this week – but there was more to smile about along the A52 where Samit Patel hit a century for England Lions.
There was also the little matter of the Roses clash - a fixture I’ve always observed from afar.
I’m reminded of the supporter who attended that particular fixture once and began applauding and cheering some lovely strokes by the batting side – then did the same whenever a wicket fell.
A burly local gent approached him – “Excuse me, are you from Lancashire?”
“No”, he replied.
“You’re from Yorkshire then?’
“Then keep your mouth shut ‘cos this match has nowt to do wi’ thee!”