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Tour Diary Retrospective

by Midnight

Everybody’s doing it during the pandemic! Louis Theroux. Michael Palin. Each time you turn on the TV there seem to be trips down memory lane, no doubt inspired by the current inability to travel and source new material – which shows no sign of abating.  Well, I’m sorry folks, but prompted by Addis Army Editor Freddie, I have followed suit and chosen my five favourite blogs. Not an easy choice, given the reams of piffle I have produced over the years.

These are reproduced in date order below and if you get time for a read I hope you enjoy the recollections.

They certainly cheered me up.

Xmas greetings to all in case this ends up in the Addis Christmas Special and stay safe.

Oh, Kolkata. India, December 2012

Written before the advanced days of accompanying photographs but quite a lot of ribald humour in this one.

Some great memories of a superb England win at Eden Gardens, together with some not-so-good memories of the worst dose of Delhi belly I’ve ever had, which certain people found quite funny. There was a lot happening around the cricket tour industry at this time, not least the ‘Jimmy Savile’ debacle, so I should advise that this piece contains material influenced by the attitudes of the era, which may now offend…….

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Planespotting. New Zealand February 2013

Another early effort sadly without photos covering pre -Test activities in New Zealand.

The blog features possibly the most picturesque cricket ground in the world, Queenstown, but is best remembered by your writer for the chance meeting with the Nae Nae cricket lads in Napier – which has given rise to several reunions since. Unfortunately Silver Dave isn’t well at the moment, but Dave I know you will read this and my thoughts are with you my friend.

This was written back in the days when beer was the law, and the one and only time in my experience that a Barmy Army HQ Pub offered discounted ale to its members.

I never did get that beer with Jesse Ryder – when the Nae Nae lads introduced him to us at their cricket club on our next visit to Wellington, he had gone teetotal and would only drink water!

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The Week We Lost the Ashes. Australia December 2017

Technological progress now and a few photographs to accompany the gallows humour.

This is a fairly typical ‘Ashes in Australia’ affair, remembered mainly for the great representation from the Addis Army and the craic we had – considering Adelaide was mainly closed by the time we left the ground each evening. I normally hate day / night Test matches…..I would gladly consider doing one at the moment though!

In this episode, England even seemed in with a chance of winning the Test at one stage. I will never forget Freddies face as our hopes crumbled to dust. Re-reading this brought back very fond memories of Five-O’s Aussie brother in law Bill, who is sadly no longer with us.

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Mount Moanganui. New Zealand November 2019

A bit of a travelogue here as I traversed the North Island with Five-O, who proved to be great company.

This blog had to be included as it contains one of the worst England performances I have ever seen, but also some fantastic reunions and friendships along the way, and Mount Maunganui is a lovely place to watch crap cricket in.

Before the texts start flying in, I hold up my hands and admit I got it wrong about Ollie Pope.

I’m sticking to my guns on my negative opinion of Jos Buttler as a Test keeper though.

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The Talented Mr Sibley. South Africa January 2020

The new normal it seems– touring solo with the beer driven social activities a thing of the past given my medical situation. This gave me more time to write up the diary, and given the length of this one, probably too much time!

However I did get a lot of feedback from people who enjoyed the piece, even with the deliberate mistake at the start regarding the dates….. so it is repeated here. The pictures alone are worth a look.

My time in Simons Town certainly seemed like a genuine adventure as opposed to simply going to and from the cricket ground to the pub and I hope that comes across loud and clear. I still have recurring nightmares about the train ride back from Newlands on Day 4!

A bit of everything here culminating in a superb Test victory in Cape Town for the first time in over 60 years.

Click here to read the full diary

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