Roll on the World Cup
We have had a pretty good first week in Australia. The Randwick Petersham Club could not have done any more for us. Led by former Australian test cricketer Mike Whitney and a seriously committed clubman by the name of John Buchannon they made sure that nothing was left to chance.
The one thing they couldn't control was the weather which we seemed to bring with us from Ireland! That's being a little picky I suppose, it probably rained for a couple of days only but when you come to Sydney you expect nothing but sunshine.
We played a game on the final day against the Randy Petes, as they are known and it's fair to say we were a little rusty. The outfield was very slow and in the end we posted 255, probably about par. We were still confident that we could restrict them to well below that total but they got off to a good start and unfortunately we weren't able to drag it back.
We have started another tour slowly. We do it nearly every time. In the grand scheme of things though, that game and the two warm up games for the competition are meaningless for what we are trying to achieve. We need to get the cobwebs off and for sure we need to start putting in performances but the big one is against the West Indies on the 16th. Spending time at the Coogee oval and in Coogee itself was great.
The whole community got behind us and wished us luck for the World Cup. We had some good down time away from cricket as well and Coogee is a beautiful place for it. We found a great little Brazilian all you can eat restaurant. Youngy was headed there one night only to get up after 5 minutes because he was too hungry and the portion sizes were too small....it's an all you can eat Craig...
We moved to Sydney and into the Sofitel where we are now under the guidance of the ICC and all the things that come with that, from the single rooms to the 10 security guards looking after us. At a World Cup everything just gets stepped up a notch. Our two warm up games are against Scotland and Bangladesh on Tuesday and Thursday.
By the time this has gone to print the Tuesday game will have finished but as I write we have got a meeting in half an hour to go over things. The excitement is really starting to build now and the realisation of how much of a buzz there is around this tournament, not only in Australia but through social media outlets as well.
It's also been great to catch up with players and support staff from other teams, I'm pretty good mates with Eoin Morgan but we are hardly ever in the same place to catch up! So it was good to have a chat and a laugh with him a couple of nights ago. A few of us are meeting up with our old mate Trent Johnston tomorrow afternoon for some lunch again it will be good to catch up, I've missed his grumpiness around the changing room.
Lastly a word for my mate Andrew White who retired yesterday from international cricket. I had spoken to whitey a week or so ago and I sort of knew the decision was coming. That said I when I opened the email he sent this morning to the lads it was still a sad thing to read.
Whitey has been a ever present in most Irish teams over the past 15 years. Right back to the days where beating Denmark to gain qualification for the first edition of the I-Cup was considered a massive achievement.
When playing for Ireland meant that you would probably be losing out on money you could be making at work and you simply got your expenses paid. He was there for all of that and steered us through many difficult times.
Of course then we started beating the odd team and subsequently got more recognition. I'm sure whitey would be able to tell people better than I could about his favourite days in Irish Cricket but if hazard a guess that the wins against Pakistan and England in the last two world cups would be up there.
It was only right that after giving so much to cricket in our country that Whitey has had his share of great times over the past 10 years. Mate, I'll miss your banter in the changing rooms, as terrible as it was at times. I'll miss having the odd blow up at you on the pitch but in general I'll just miss having you around.
Thanks for the good times. I have so much sympathy for Your boss, one K.McCallan... getting you to do a full years teaching is going to be difficult! Roy has enjoyed not spending half of his expenses on taking you for dinner these last two months!!