I can’t believe that it’s almost exactly a year since I was fortunate enough to go on the Notts tour to Abu Dhabi for the champion county match against the MCC.
Pink balls, floodlit cricket, the Grand Prix track, the Wall and the Twenty20 success in Dubai were all very much part of the adventure and I’m looking forward to the next twelve days as I try and keep you up to date with the exploits of the Notts lads on their pre-season tour of Barbados.
If you discount the Cheltenham Festival – and one or two members of the party have been very interested in some of the results – then the Cameron’s visit to the US has been the biggest news item over the past few days as SamCam has been welcomed by the First Lady.
Arriving at Trent Bridge at the start of our journey I discovered we’d now got our very own First Lady at Notts – with Lisa’s appointment as Chief Exec.
"I hope the club gets a rebate on Luke Fletcher’s fare because he practically walked to the Caribbean. He was up and down the aisle for hour after hour.."
Not that my tu’pennyworth counts for anything but I’ve got to say this is good for the club and good for cricket – many congratulations Lisa!
She wasn’t the only one with something to celebrate, as it was also Jake Ball’s 21st birthday.
Proper protocol forbids me to reveal the full extent of the respective celebrations but suffice to say, I hope both remember 14th March 2012 for a long time to come!
1975 was a wonderful summer. I’d left school and had two months to kill before joining the RAF. By and large, they were spent watching cricket – and World Cup cricket at that. That first event, as you’ll recall, was won by the West Indies. Fittingly, the big hit song of the summer was by a band called Typically Tropical.
Their hit, ‘Barbados’ has been hummed a thousand times by yours truly over the last few weeks and I even had a failed attempt at installing it as my new ring-tone.
Richie Vallens’ ‘La Bamba’ has been on there almost since Richie was alive and now stubbornly refuses to budge.
Anyhow, I was more than expecting the pilot of our Boeing 747 (with an upstairs bit to it!) to greet us with the opening lines of the song. “This is Captain Tobias Willcock welcoming you aboard this Coconut Airways Flight to Bridgetown, Barbados.”
So it was a mixed blessing when he instead informed us that a following wind would shave half-an-hour off our intended 9-hour flight. No sooner had he relayed the good news than he was back on again, informing us that Air Traffic Control were now holding us for thirty minutes – back to square one, I think!
Hampshire’s cricketers were on the same flight as us – Jimmy Adams, Michael Carberry, James Vince etc – so there was a lot of seat swapping and catching up to do between the two sets of players.
I hope the club gets a rebate on Luke Fletcher’s fare because he practically walked to the Caribbean. He was up and down the aisle for hour after hour.
Whilst last years trip enabled me to follow our route over such renowned hot-spots as Basra and Baghdad there wasn’t much to report this time. From Gatwick, it’s along the south coast to Plymouth, then turn left for 4,000 miles.
The one certainty of the journey was that we weren’t going to come down in any mountains, there was nothing but the Atlantic beneath us until we reached our destination!
There, waiting for us, was the big, cheery welcoming smile from former Notts legend Franklyn Stephenson ahead of a training session at his academy tomorrow.