I know this is a cricket tour but in my previous blog I happened to mention the former England football great Bobby Moore. Well, that was a surname that cropped up on a couple of occasions early this morning.
One of the first MCC players to surface was Lancashire’s Stephen Moore and we had a lengthy chat about things and the way the match had gone. Stephen seems quite a switched-on young man, very driven and focused and it was good to see him playing again after a wretched injury in the Twenty20 competition last year in which he dislocated his shoulder.
He clearly takes an interest in a wide number of topics and it was perhaps appropriate that here in one of the wealthiest parts of the world his reading material of choice today was the Financial Times.
A wide variety of books and magazines have been brought on this trip by the travelling party. Many of the lads are into their gadgets and gizmo’s and have the latest monthly’s with them, scorer Roger Marshall has brought Charles Dickens’ ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ with him (although I haven’t seen him turn a single page as yet!).
My eyes then alighted upon Paul Johnson, the Notts batting coach. He seemed a study of concentration ploughing his way through Brian Moore’s autobiography. Hard to tell which one of them used to be nicknamed ‘Pitbull’ isn’t it?
Derek Brewer gained himself a new nickname today. As you’d expect from a fairly luxurious hotel the breakfast eggs are cooked to order. Derek’s preference was for the scrambled variety but he then made the mistake of popping out onto the restaurant veranda to eat it.
No sooner had the plate touched the table than a bird (of unidentifiable breed and origin) swooped to grab a beak-full of delicious egg to the astonishment of Nottinghamshire’s CEO.
Returning to the chef with his “Please can I have some more”, look, ensured he’d be called ‘Oliver’ for the rest of the day!
From birds to dates (!).
Just inside the hotel foyer stands a man all day offering some liquid refreshment to guests as they walk in out of the sun. For some reason all week he’s ignored me, despite my frequent attempts to walk in and out several times to try and catch his eye and even loitered in the vicinity.
Today business must have been slack. “Tea sir?” he asked.
I’m not usually too fussy what I consume but I played the slightly interested card. “What is it?” I queried.
He informed me that it was cardamom tea.
As I tried it he then opened a box and offered me a date. This was the most delicious, succulent piece of fruit I think I’ve ever tasted and my new friend, Mouhcine, gave me another. Those you get in the UK at
Christmas are nothing like the real thing you get out here. I’ve absorbed a few stats this week but was astounded to learn that 18 million dates are produced here each year.
As for the drink Mouhcine offered, well how can I put it - “It’s not my cup of tea!”
This afternoon I went down into the city for the first time and almost brought Abu Dhabi to a standstill but
I’ll tell you about that tomorrow!
Dave Bracegirdle will provide ball-by-ball commentary on Nottinghamshire's LV=County Championship season on behalf of BBC Radio Nottingham.