iconimg Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sanjjeev K Samyal, Hindustan Times
Colombo, September 16, 2012
The tough aspect of being part of the modern-day sports circuit is the travelling involved. The sportsmen are always on the road, and it gets really exhausting when they have to cover long distances. Just ask Aussie bowler Dirk Nannes.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore player is part of the BBC commentary team for the World T20 and was on a seemingly never-ending trip from London to Hambantota at the weekend.

He looked wasted when he arrived at the Mumbai airport. And he was only half-way through. In comparison, those on assignment with the India team are considering themselves lucky as the team is based in Colombo for the entire campaign.

This correspondent was looking at a two-and-half hour flight into Colombo from Mumbai. For Nannes, after the 8-hour London-Mumbai and the Mumbai-Colombo flights, he had a road trip close to six hours lined up immediately on landing.

"Yeah, it's been a long flight," Nannes sighed, listening to music and trying to keep his mood up on the flight. For the rest of his journey, he kept providing updates on Twitter. "Halfway to Hambantota and we've stopped for some serenity + coconuts. Covered 130km in almost 3 hours. 130kms to go," he tweeted, followed by "2 near death experiences down, possibly a few more to come!"

At most venues other than Colombo and Galle, the stadiums are built outside city limits. It mustn't have helped Nannes' mood to know that his job at Hambantota might involve a one-way road trip of more than an hour from his hotel to the stadium.

The Netherlands-born player said he knew what to expect having been here before. "I stay there for a week and then I will be in Colombo," he said, already looking forward to the end of the week. On wonders what will be the travel schedule for Kevin Pietersen, when he lands for his commentary stint.