Niall O' Brien
This week has been a really good one, as our cricket has really stepped up another level with the tournament approaching fast. We spent Friday in Dehli training and working in the gym.
The last two weeks has been great for getting myself in good shape, and I am focusing hard on my strength work and building up muscle, so I can hit the ball out of the ground!The Chandigargh Lions arrived at our hotel In Dehli for 3 warm up games. This has ben excellent to catch up with friends from around the world - Hamish Marshall, my old Kent team mate and now colleagues again at Northants, Andrew Hall, Daryl Tuffey, Nayan Mongia, and Imran Farhat.
We have had a good catch up over a beer and talking about cricket. We played our first friendly game on Saturday versus the Lions and got 173 on a tough batting wicket. I batted at 3 and scored 37 off 30 balls which was very pleasing . Dale Benkenstein is pushing me to bat at number 3 which suits me fine.
Paul Nixon kept wicket but we struggled to contain Marshall and Cairns who can still hit the ball a very long way - they eventaully won by 7 wickets with 3 overs left! It was a good run out for the boys all the same.
The evening was spent watching plenty of premier league football in my room with Benki , CJ our Physio and Charlie, our massage therapist. My beloved Everton smashed Sunderland 7-1, so I was a happy man.
Sunday saw the Dehli Jets get a good win again over the Lions chasing 135 on a green seamer - we won in the last over . I batted 6 and got bowled by a doosra for 3, but Benki showed why he s such a good player by steering the team home. I kept wicket in this game and Paul was very happy with the progress I am making. I managed 2 catches, 1 standing up off Benki and also a stumping off the Durham all rounder.
I was rested for the 3rd friendly and did some fitness and keeping drills, as well as some reverse sweep practice. Over dinner on Monday night with Dale we had a good open chat about my cricket and what I needed to do this season and I must say I am really looking forward to the season ahead.
On Tuesday we travelled to Chandigargh where all the teams have arrived , There is a great buzz around this clean city and I am happy to have left Dehli as it was a bit too smoggy for me. Chandigargh seems clean and quiet. I have managed to meet with many friends from around the World and of course my Ireland team mate Boyd Rankin.
On Wednesday we visited the Stadium it looks a bit like a building site but we are assured it will be ready for the first game?
Today we had a rest in the morning and I managed to get some important shopping in for Xmas gifts. We trained tonight under lights and had a team meal in preparation for the opening game tomorrow.
We have done all the photo shoots that are common place with these events and are ready to go. It will be a busy week ahead in the ICL and let's hope the Dehli Jets get some good results.
Regards From India
Niall O Brien