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Daniel Vettori does the trick again (4th November 1999, Rajkot)

We woke up late as usual and headed to the stadium and tried to locate Mr. Rawal our local contact. The poor man was busy as hell at the ground buzzing about doing this and that. When he finally had time for us he took us up to the press box to show us our places. Having secured a place with a good view of the ground we went about the task of locating a telephone line.

The temperature in the desert town of Rajkot soared into the early 40s (Centigrade) by noon and the swimming pool complex adjacent to the stadium began to elicit longing looks from most of the people at the ground. In particular, the foreign staff from TWI wanted to plunge into the pool in a hurry. Catherine, a tall lean British staff member from TWI, was given the task of finding the key to the swimming pool complex and bumped into us in the course of her search. I arranged to do an interview with her at some point in this tour and we both continued to search - us for a phone line and she for the gentleman who had the keys to the cool kingdom of the swimming pool.

A kindly Mr. Damani from the Telecom Board wanted to know why we were so special and needed our own telephone line while all other pressmen shared a few. I explained to him that we were from CricInfo and that we intended to score the match ball by ball and for that reason we needed a dedicated telephone line. The man was obviously a cricket fanatic and soon agreed that he must do everything possible to ensure that we get a telephone line. Sure enough - around 7 pm the phone line was ours.

We managed to connect to the Internet as well, and proceeded to stay at the stadium till well after 10 pm. In the meantime, Duane spoke with Sai of CricInfo's Madras office on IRC and many broken up conversations later it was decided that I was going to Hyderabad to cover the 3rd One-Dayer. Change of plans. One minute I wasn't going to Hyderabad and the next minute I was! What a quixotic family this CI family is...

We were chased out of the stadium at around 9.30 pm and began to walk back towards our hotel. On the way we couldn't help noticing a tall bright brightly lit up tower. We couldn't for the life us figure out what it was. We decided to investigate and made a beeline towards it through a dark, rather seedy looking public park. We reached close enough and to our extreme surprise it was a water slide in an amusement park. A water slide in the desert town of Rajkot? Apparently yes. The next thing to do was slide off it. We had a look at the other rides at the park and finally mustered up enough enthusiasm to slide off a giant water slide that started about 50 feet above the ground. After we were (incorrectly) recognised by the manager of the place as Daniel Vettori and his local manager all rides were opened up to us for free! We insisted that we were nothing like what he thought and showed him our media passes to back us up, but he just would not take no for an answer. So we went bumped around on the bumper cars (dodgems to all you Kiwis out there) for ages longer than anyone else, took 3 turns at the water slide and had the best time of anyone in the park.

At 11.30 pm we were thoroughly entertained, the park closed and we went back to our room. 11.30 pm only because they had rather special guests who simply could not be turned away!