Rain delayed the start of the third one-dayer between India and Australia at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium, but spirits were high in the stands. Many spectators were already inside the 39,000-capacity arena. They cheered the Indian team's warm-up. When the players started a lap, the decibel level shot up. There was no escaping the title song of Chak De! India.
Lords of the bungle
The people in charge of the main scoreboard at the stadium were perhaps Adam Gilchrist fans. After ten overs, Australia were 61 without loss. Gilchrist was on 22 and Hayden on 34. But on the scoreboard, Gilchrist had 122 runs against his name. The scoreboard was a mess for more than an hour after the match started. "Are you guys drunk?" the concerned press box scorer asked them via the walkie-talkie at one point. Partly due to the mistakes of the authorities, partly due to the security requirements slowing everything down, the match wasn't the most well-organised.
Scorer with a difference
While one scorers, the one in the press box in Kochi was a memorable character. Generally, scorers follow a pattern when announcing a wicket: dismissal details, innings details, fall of wicket, not out batsmen's score, new man in. The gentleman in Kochi was an anomaly. His enthusiasm would at times bubble over in the form of an excited comment of his own. The facts could come later, thank you. "Gilchrist gone!" he said when the stand-in Aussie skipper departed.
Murder most fowl
Menu cards, laundry rate sheets and local pamphlets provide certain entertainment when on tour. Our Hyderabad hotel lists men's clothes and the rates for their laundering under the heading 'Gentleman'. A flyer in a newspaper offered English tuitions on 'week ends'. But nothing to beat this item on offer to hotel guests from the kitchen. Taking pride of place in the Oriental section of the menu is the 'diced chicken dong'