Lankan Diary: Day One: Ayubowan!

Posted: September 17, 2012 by thecognitivenomad in Cricket
Tags: , , ,

Chandrasekhar Jayaramakrishnan

(F)lag Carrier it is

The delay, in itself, could have easily accommodated two end-to-end nail-biting T20 games. Nail-biting because the five-and-a-half hour wait mandated searching for alternative means for appetite – Air India will certainly not be an airline we’d consider flying again.

The fact that three other airlines (Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Sri Lankan Airlines) scheduled to depart later that day managed to take off by the time we were caught between searching for answers and cursing our luck, didn’t help the cause either.

The advantages of traveling as a group is that such delays don’t bog you down as much as it would have had you been a lone traveller. Topics spanned Samaraweera’s record outside the subcontinent (with Goutham  & Abhishek explicitly mentioning his twin hundreds in South Africa), cobwebs of the Atherton vs Cook Flintoff endorsements, Steve Waugh’s deliberation on not penning the Sarwan-McGrath incident in his autobiography and the ridiculous money some of these young cricketers were charging for an interview.

There were times when the magnitude of the delay caught raw nerves – the only bright side being the possibility of fellow traveller Triyambak, holder of a virgin passport, having to narrate his tale of a first foreign trip that didn’t cross the International Departures area.

Touch Down Colombo

The contrast in weather was evident, if not obvious. Cloudy skies are like two-edged swords (especially if you are on vacation) – lack of heat could mean an escapade from sunburns (which has well documented stories here), but the possibility of showers could well ruin our purpose for the trip here – the cricket!

We started on a conversation with one of the guys, Haroon, selling local sim cards in the airport. He named Malinga, Gayle and Kohli as his three favourite players (much to Goutham’s delight as two of three represent RCB in the IPL), and declared himself a Wayamba fan, a team in the SLPL led by Mahela Jayawardene. You could’ve easily mistaken him as a stand-up impersonator of Sri Lankan cricketers, given the way he appeared and spaced his words in English, but maybe that’s the case with all Sri Lankans.  They’re very friendly , warm and polite.


Ranveli Beach Resort seemed a more-than-decent place for budget travellers like us. The 1.25 hour journey from the airport to the resort was taxing – both physically and monetarily (costs us close to 3600 SLR for the journey), but the relief of having made it to Sri Lanka, given the morning’s proceedings, swept such concerns under the carpet.

One of our room attendants, a young lad going by the name Ruwan, spoke a bit of Tamil. He mentioned being a fan of Sangakkara and Tendulkar, and reckoned if Sri Lanka weren’t going to win the World Cup, the Indians were his close favourites.

Captain Goutham welcomes latest additions to CECC – on foreign shores

Numbers 00, and 17 were handed over their Couch Expert Cricket Club (CECC) Jerseys and the Baggy Blues by skipper Goutham Chakravarthi. 00 – Suneeth Sastry volunteered to sponsor a tablet PC for CECC to help Chief Statistician Badrinarayana Vengavasi (also part of the SL touring party) work with numbers, graphs and wagon wheels.

CJ receiving his CECC jersey from Goutham in Mt. Lavinia, Colombo

Number 17 – yours truly, who is yet to make his debut for CECC, has a clear road now to grab the first choice wicket-keeper position owing to the fact that current wicket-keeper Muthukumar Ramamurthy is about to enter the second innings of his personal life. Muthu, are you reading this?

  1. muthumra says:

    I read it fully CJ. You may have an opportunity to play when Goutham wants to see me rolling my arms for some dip and bounce. Otherwise the position behinds the stumps is cemented for Muthu as the rest of the CECC would like to.

    And thanks to Suneeth for his voluntary contribution. Baddy knows already we were planning one.

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