I’ve just been away on a cricket tour. Which made me think back to the only other tour I have ever been on.
The tour was to Wales. Three days, two nights, three games, somewhere in the region of Cardiff. I know that the second game was against Dinas Powys, because they forgot the game was on and had to field what was pretty much a colts side against us – not as bad as it sounds as many of our side were barely out of their teens, either.
What do I remember of that tour? I remember driving to Cardiff with someone – I can’t remember who – who was really impressed that I knew a route to the M4 that bypassed Reading. And I remember getting so lost around Cardiff that we ended up going to a service station and buying a map. This was the era before satnav, before smart phones and in fact before broadband internet became widespread (let alone mobile internet) so getting lost was both common and to a certain extent expected.
I remember that in the first game I opened the batting, made 18 and then got caught playing a totally unnecessary shot. I remember that I took two catches, the last of them to win the game and taken whilst looking into the sun.
I remember that we beat the colts of Dinas Powys easily and that I scored 52 of our runs, but I mostly remember the random bearded guy we met at the hotel who claimed to be an umpire, who somehow got horribly drunk during our innings (I still have no idea how) and had to be escorted out of the ground and sent home during the tea interval.
I remember the third game, when I didn’t bat but did pick up a huge bruise on my right bicep diving to stop a ball, and scoring during our innings and showing off by doing two books at once*.
Oh, and I also remember the second night, when we went nightclubbing. Or at least most of the others did, whereas I got bored after a while and wandered around Cardiff for an hour or so until it was time to go home again.
What I do know, though, is that I have completely lost touch with everyone else who was on that tour. I can’t even remember who some of them were. For various reasons, I have played for a number of clubs since then and I am in contact with them still. I guess that is the difference between touring when the internet was in its infancy and now.