Dhaka, Oct-Nov 1998

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Day 2: Sat 24 October

CricInfo multimedia manager Rohan Chandran gives
us his daily view of the Wills International Cup...

They seek him here, they seek him there. Big Boss Simon King has been as elusive as the Scarlet Pimpernel of late, but he finally made it into Dhaka today. There's a trail of smoke in his wake, starting in London, and reaching Bangladesh via Thailand and Malaysia. His presence here is absolutely vital, not least to tournament sponsors Wills, who are rumoured to be contemplating using him as their new mascot. Perhaps they haven't seen his new hairdo though.

Although Simon's arrival was of course the highlight of the day, there are one or two other things to report. Somewhere along the line, we were watching New Zealand take on Zimbabwe in the first match of the tournament. It was an absolute travesty of justice. We have no doubt in our minds that the match should have been settled by means of a bowlout, but you can never rely on a Black Cap, can you?

Turns out we can't really rely on Sir Travis either, which is something of a shattering blow. Not once, but twice today, guards failed to salute our esteemed colleague. But that wasn't all. On both occasions, there was no mistaking the call of "Good evening, Madam" as he walked by. Or should that read, as she walked by ? I think I'll leave that judgement to the reader.

Almost as amusing earlier in the day was listening to Alex and Badri fight each other over the honour of writing the live match reports for the second half of the game. I think the conversation went something like this:

Alex: Right, I'd better get started on the reports.
Badri: Well, I'll help you out and share it with you.
Alex: I'll be fine, don't worry.
Badri: It gets very difficult you know, to concentrate for that long, so maybe I should help you out.
Alex: No, don't worry, I can manage.
Badri: But we'll share it.
Alex: Yeah, whatever.

So what was the upshot of all of this? Well, without giving too much away, here's what I overheard later in the evening:

Alex: It's impossible to do match reports. You need to concentrate so much, and I get distracted too much so I can't focus on the game.
Badri: You know, I like to just sit down and watch the game and appreciate it.

No prizes for guessing who's on match report duty tomorrow!

In amidst all of this, I've been keeping myself busy by letting the lesser lights of the cricket world schmooze in my company. Dr Ali Bacher said "Hi" early this morning, and then proceeded to wave a cricket bat around. I observed that the middle of the bat appeared to be the only portion which hadn't been used, and this evoked a chuckle, and a comment to the effect of "It's Hansie's."

That wouldn't have been worthy of mention in this column had I not later seen Dr Bacher excitedly telling a WorldTel commentator that the bat he was holding belonged to Hansie Cronje, and the middle hasn't been used much . Go figure. People will do anything for a laugh these days, myself included apparently.

Right, it's been a late couple of nights, and I'm looking forward to an early one today. Last night we were up till 6am recording the Dhaka Dispatch. That was so much fun that we've decided to abandon the concept. I'm going to make a moral commitment to write tomorrow's entry when I'm awake. With any luck that'll help it plenty! Until then, it's goodnight from me and my US$12 mefloquine tablet.

Previous diary entries:
Rohan Chandran is CricInfo's Multimedia Manager and is on site in Dhaka with four other CricInfo management for the duration of the tournament

Date-stamped : 23 Oct2002 - 19:06