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June 14, 2024 10:26 PM

My recent tour to India to play cricket

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BY HARRY SCOWEN

On 1st April, I flew to New Delhi to play in the ICAL – International Cricket Academy League, 13-day cricket tour.

There were teams from Australia, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the United Arab Emirate.

The team I represented was complete cricket, which was made up from players across Sydney.

The matches were played in Gururgram, which is 33kms south of New Delhi.

The format of the tournament was mainly 50 over games with three T20 games also played.

We played 10 games over the 13 days, some under lights as day/night matches.

Throughout the tournament, I had 6 innings and made 233 runs.

My highest score was 66 n.o, with 26 fours and 3 sixes. I also made two 50’s, my average was 54.6 and my strike rate was 134. Although I was keen to play every game, due to the extreme heat and poor air quality, I had to be rested for some games. My statistics for keeping were 2 stumpings, 6 catches and 2 run outs.

I was so surprised by the huge number of people in India. With such a large population, the way people live is so different from our lifestyle in Australia. The roads and traffic were chaotic, and we needed to leave well before games, just to get to the ground on time. The food was also very different. Eating curry between innings break in the extreme heat, proved to be a little difficult and I soon realised bananas from the hotel might be a better option for lunch.

The people were so friendly. They loved their cricket so much; we were treated like royalty at times.

The highlights of my trip were many. I attended two IPL games, which was such an amazing experience. Meeting so many new people and players was fantastic. Despite the language barrier, I made connections with players from other teams too, particularly the Sri Lankan team. I have such an appreciation for what I have. Some of these players don’t have their own equipment. They share cricket bats and gloves. Their lives have been so much tougher than mine, but the cricket they play is outstanding.

Playing in a different country under extreme conditions with totally different pitches and grounds was an experience that I will draw on, when playing back under Australian conditions.

I would like to thank Gus Mather from Pirtek and Lenny Kelman from Muswellbrook landscaping supplies, for their ongoing support of me.

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