Sunday, 18 April 2010

Life's a beach

Aamir had said he wants to keep me busy while I am here so this weekend he took me about 160ks out of Kathmandu to help out with running the second Beach Cricket Tournament of the year.

Now I know what some of you are thinking – Nepal is a landlocked country. However, they have lots of rivers and some pretty big beaches by some of them, so this is where the event was held. The intention was I would just write about it and try to get it posted on Cricinfo and Cricket World while maybe doing a bit of commentating, which I was a tad unsure about. Upon arrival however, after a rather bumpy four hour bus ride, I was informed that I would be playing for the Nepal Police Health Club, run by the previously mentioned Don.

I should mention at this point that it was hot. Unbearably hot in fact. So hot that during the weekend I went though no less than six different tops, probably a record of some sort. I was pretty grateful I had whipped off all my hair before flying out at this point, and wished I'd ditched the beard too.

The tournament five-a-side and five overs with everyone bowling and there was an inter-bank competition with eight teams, and a corporate one with six, taking place over two days with a piss up thrown in the middle. The standard of cricket was patchy at best, but it was a great laugh. Towards the end of the first day they thrust a microphone at me and demanded I commentate like Geoffrey Boycott. Unable to do that I seemed to morph into a combination of David Lloyd and Ferris Bueller, which went down rather well as it turned out, and I had a much longer stint on Saturday.

The party that night was typically entertaining, Aamir had invited a girl to come along as “Goodwill Ambassador” - whatever that means – and she is rather famous in Nepal...or should that be infamous? She's done a few music videos and two movies, but has recently become rather better known for some filming done at home. One cool part of the evening was I saw a guy wearing a Brazil Football shirt with United Gurkha written on the back, so I asked him about it and we had a chat. The next morning he then came and gave it to me, which was awesome! Also turned out that he's friends with Nir, small world.

Anyway, during the two days most of the chaps were scared stiff of this girl, Nepali men being famous for their shyness around people they don't know, which was all rather amusing. What makes it even funnier is that these same guys are absolutely relentless when it comes to taking the piss out of each other and making fools out of themselves when they are around people they know, so I fitted in relatively well with my own brand of humour (stealing security guard hats and throwing a few shapes on the dance-floor).

The bus ride back today was something of a highlight as well. We left around 4:30 and I was expecting a quiet journey with my iPod, as had been the ride over, but one of the lads called Abhaya had other ideas. This guy plays occasionally for the national side (when he can get the time off work) and chose to lead the bus in song for more than half of the four-hour ride home. For those on Everest a year ago, the Milky Tea song featured heavily.

Needless to say it was insisted that I contribute, so what else could I perform other than 10cc's classic 'Dreadlock Holiday'. Clearly nobody knew the song, which isn't surprising since I sang the Drovers CC version, but they all got involved with lots of clapping and shouting in the necessary places, which was marvellous. I considered a full rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, but felt a nine-minute epic was not quite what they were after!

As I left the bus there were rumours going around that I had made the headlines in a few local papers thanks to my performance on the pitch on Friday (the Saturday hangover meant we tumbled out in the semi-finals) and this morning I have discovered this which is quite entertaining.

I wonder what next week will bring!

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