Where streets have no name | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Where streets have no name

The street outside the posh Royal Garden Hotel is buzzing with Indian cricketers unwinding, or pumping themselves up, ahead of the big game against Pakistan later in the day. Arjun Sen reports.

cricket Updated: Jun 03, 2009 23:31 IST
Arjun Sen

The street outside the posh Royal Garden Hotel is buzzing with Indian cricketers unwinding, or pumping themselves up, ahead of the big game against Pakistan later in the day.

The game might still be a good four hours away, but a few Indian fans have already made their way to the area outside the hotel, desperate to catch a glimpse of their heroes, and maybe even click a photograph or two with them. Vinesh and Neil are two such fans. Having come all the way from Watford - a good 2 hours away- they have had a fruitful morning so far.

“We spoke to Irfan, Yusuf and Bhajji,” Neil excitedly said. “Bhajji even clicked a photograph with me.”

For the objects of this attention, however, the build up to the game has been as easy as ever.

“We just went out shopping to Oxford Circus,” a couple of Indian players told HT at a coffee shop opposite the hotel. “I love it here, we can walk down for a cup of coffee without being hounded by everyone.”

Shopping, in fact, was almost the theme for the players.

While Kamran Akmal and Sohail Tanvir were making their way back in to the hotel after what looked like a busy morning at designer stores, Misbah-ul-Haq and Shoaib Malik walked in to one of the many high-end stores just outside the hotel.

Virender Sehwag surely cannot remember the last time he could walk to a McDonald's for a quick bite without causing a
commotion, but he did just that on Wednesday. Casually walking on the busy High Street Kensington dressed in his India training colours, Sehwag is enjoying every minute of this privacy.

Coffee with cricketers
The coffee shop opposite the team hotel seems to be the place to catch a cricketer. I had made a quick stop for a quick bite, when suddenly three very familiar faces sat down on the table next to mine. James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann walked in, engrossed in animated discussion. Luke Wright soon joined them and the conversation veered to their game against the West Indies later in the day.