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India v England Cricket Tour 2011
Des' Tour Diary

Des Newton – our tour leader for our India 2011 tour - tells us how it went...

It proves that the cricket itself is actually a very small part of the touring experience as a whole. England lost 5-0 in ODI series but our clients don’t go home unhappy; they have had a wonderful time, sights and sounds of India, bonding as a group and enjoying the magic of a Howzat Travel tour. The victory in the final match, a one off  T20, meant we, like the England team themselves, returned home with a spring in our step.

See our India v England 2011 tour here >

We may not have seen the ‘little master’ or King of Indian cricket Sachin Tendulkar, as injury robbed him, Sehwag, Broad and Morgan from taking part in this series, but we were privileged enough to have witnessed some magnificent performances from the crown Prince MS Dhoni, a wonderful captain and batsman – the only time England got him out in the whole series was run out off the last ball of the T20. From an England perspective those who were there saw Steven Finn mature into a truly international class fast bowler who will surely play in all forms of the game from now on rather than just be a squad member.

The lack of Tendulkar - and possibly too much cricket in general - meant unfortunately for us intrepid English (and SA) tourists the Indian crowds stayed away with small attendances in the grounds. We did get a feel for the atmosphere with English fours and sixes greeted by silence and dot balls with rapturous cheers. (I felt an important part of the support as Kieswetter, Pietersen, Trott, Dernback and Meaker all hail from my country).

Not that there was too much silence – the English were well and truly outplayed on the park losing the first match in Delhi by 8 wickets with 80 balls remaining, the second in Mohali (much closer but still lost) by 5 wickets with 4 balls remaining, the third in Mumbai by 6 wickets with 59 balls remaining and the fourth by 95 runs.

4-0 down we headed to the world famous Eden Gardens in hope of an England victory. Looked to be on course when having restricted the Indians to 271-8 (the imperious Dhoni scoring a magnificent 75 not out from 69 balls meaning he had scored 212 not out in the series) Cook and Kieswetter took England to 129-0. All too familiar collapse followed as they lost all 10 wickets for 47 runs to lose by 6 wickets with 8 balls remaining.

The Twenty20 provided something of a relief. England the World Champions in this format could take something home from this tour. Magnificent batting from Kevin Pietersen, Finn taking 3-22 and inventive captaincy from Graeme Swann…

If you wish to read about more of Des' travel experiences, you should check out his book 'Sporting Travels of a Karoo Son'. You can buy it here - www.desnewton.com

 

City by city...

Hyderabad

The hotel Marriott was popular with everyone and from the quality food to the pool area was appreciated by all.

Our Indian style mini-bus (where the driver’s compartment is closed off from the clients by a door) had nice looking reclining seats. The only problem was that the backrests reclined slowly but surely by themselves until you felt the knees of the person behind you in your back. You had to press the release button and with some help the backrests popped up to their original position. Five minutes later……

The driver’s name was Driver Laxman so in the name of true English cricket lovers the problem was treated with mirth and laughter. Good spirits prevailed.

Our seats at the stadium, because we arrived early, were directly behind the bowler’s arm and one flight up- perfect. We were in the shade all day long with the option of sitting a few rows forward in the sun. As I said, perfect. The cricket was not. We lost hopelessly and took a drubbing especially from fellow Indian spectators.

The noise. The sheer volume of the noise. The Indian version of the Mexican wave - it took four to five seconds to complete a round of the stadium with a deafening roar the likes of which I have never heard. It was as if the people were so keen to take part that they could not wait their turn and a whole quarter of the compass would stand up and shout or scream at the same time turning the wave into a tsunami of cacophony and joyous participation. It was all over in a second until the next quarter took over immediately. I would like to bat during an Indian wave as the umpire could not possibly hear a nick for caught behind.

Howzat Traveller Dave keeps his own scorebook and the enquiring minds of our surrounding new friends tested his adept scoring skills to the limit with so many probing questions that threatened to break his rhythm. At one point his scorebook was two runs ahead of the official electronic board. Doubt crept in. A while later the board caught up with his book proving what a genius he was amid some hand clapping and awed admiration of the younger computer driven teenagers. Dave’s scorebook was henceforth King with the Indians asking him for the real score.

On the way to our entry gate wearing our beautiful red Howzat shirts we were catcalled loudly by huge queues. It was thrilling to see the challenge offered to us. Our group of a dozen brave souls waved back and smiled. Suddenly TV mobile cameras and crew surrounded us for impromptu interviews with each one of us. We were astounded celebrities. Judith was particularly impressive with her easy and erudite summary of why we were there to wishing victory to the best side which she diplomatically hoped would beEngland. We were a dozen of about a total of 20 English supporters among 48,000 people. We were a phenomenon and were obvious in the lone colours of a faraway island in the midst of an ocean of Indian support for the home team.

We were photographed many times with the Indian fans who were always smiling, friendly and spontaneous. It seemed as if they had read about England and now here were the English people in real life. We must remember that Hyderabad is but a small, albeit a significant, country city of a mere seven million people.

The game was lost. The spirit of our Howzat group was not. On the walk back to our coach at least a hundred handshakes were made by each of us. Paul made the apt remark to sum up the uplifting experience saying “It feels like I played in that game”.

The next day we had a short article written about us in the local daily.

Delhi

Half the group chose to go on a city tour and found particularly the old city enchanting with rickshaw rides and narrow alleyways with shops galore. The following day was to be our highlight of the tour – the trip toAgra.

We dreaded waking up at 4.30am for a 5.30am departure from the hotel to catch the 6.15am train from Delhi station to Agra. Nevertheles,s an undertone of excitement bubbled away beneath the veneer of sleepiness, which soon vanished upon arrival at the station. People were sleeping everywhere on the cement floor and one had to wend one’s way through them to get to our station platform to await our train.

It rolled in on time and our reserved seats were waiting for us. Our two hour trip was speedy and efficient and the breakfast like an Indian Airways meal but the service was called ‘Meals on Wheels’.

We were met at Agra station and taken to a local hotel for coffee and to meet our excellent tour guide for the day, Sanjay. The girls in the group thought he was good looking so took in every word he said. I'm not sure that Geoff paid much attention.

Our first stop was the Little Taj followed by The Magnificent Agra Fort. Many say that the view one has of The Taj Mahal from the fort across the broad river is one of the best. From there we went to an obligatory marble goods shop before enjoying a sumptuous lunch building up momentum for the big moment when we would enter the portals of the Taj.

The first view is overwhelming. From a blind entrance suddenly this splendid edifice stands in all its glory gleaming in the sunshine in its white coat of marble. I couldn’t help noticing some wetness on the cheeks of some of our group as we stood there for a moment, riveted.

The wealth of the Moghuls must have been unbounded. It took 20,000 men 70 years to complete. The architecture is timeless as it can look like an ancient temple or with very little imagination it can also look like a modern space station with its domes and towers. What it is in fact is a giant crypt housing only two coffin like structures in the heart of the structure. The rest of the building is made of pure beauty created by many craftsmen over many years and all the outside is pure marble. All the inside is pure marble.

We were there on no special day but there were thousands of people present. The queue to view the crypt inside circled the entire monument two and a half times. I had already covered my shoes with some sort of sackcloth they give you so sauntered up to a well dressed Indian man about number 20 in the queue and told him I was alone and confused as to where the queue started or ended and could he advise me. He just made space for me in front of him and I was ushered inside. It was dark and one could hardly see. Photos were forbidden so I only took a few along with the hundreds of flashes going off. It was all marble again and the walk was over in a minute. I caught a glimpse of the shapes inside the crypt before walking out into the bright sunshine again.

There were lovely lawns to rest one’s toured-out body before the train journey back ‘home’ enjoying a curry supper on board. A satisfied bunch of intrepid travellers returned back to the hotel at about 11.30pm all bearing Muslim names in honour of the Taj Mahal.

Road to Chandigarh

We boarded the mini-coach in Delhi bound for Chandigarh. The coach was splendidly fitted out with air conditioning and very comfortable reclining seats that only reclined when you pulled the lever and gave us confidence with good signwriting confirming that it was a luxury coach with only one mistake in the spelling of luxury ‘transprot'. But then we cant spell in Hindu very well. I suspected that all would not be quite right when upon leaving the hotel the first little bump in the tarred road reverberated around the coach. I then realised that this vehicle was, to quote the Bard, ‘A goodly apple rotten at the core’. It was a luxury seating capsule mounted on a 3 or 5 ton lorry chassis. The suspension was made for a load much heavier than we were.

At one stage Christine turned around to see Geoffrey who had been lying on his back in the back row levitating as he had been lifted a foot off the seats by the bump we had just experienced. He slept through it he said .Seven hours later we arrived at the friendly Mountview Hotel but not before Andy and Geoff had won my ODI cricket quiz on the bus with 10 correct answers in a row each before they both stumbled on the 11th. Most only get to five. They won a free drink each! After some room shuffling we settled down to enjoy the space and the company of our fellow English guests on the bar terrace and met and chatted with the likes of Botham, Lloyd, Ed Smith, Paul Allott, Dermot Reeve, and other pretenders.

The next day I organised four tuk-tuks for next to nothing to run us in convoy with the warm wind rushing through one’s hair to the famous Rock Gardens to wander through its nooks and crannies and weird porcelain walls and figurines made of waste materials to the waterfall surrounded by steep walls of coolness. Here again we were obviously different with people wanting photos with us and wanting to communicate in a friendly and inquisitive way. It was difficult to drag everyone away in the allotted time of one and a half hours.

Another tuk-tuk ride took us to the lakelet where Andy and Geoff paddled a boat with a magnificent maidenhead of a dragon’s head, while Des and Richard sat in the bow relaxing. Gordon and Judith wandered off up the lake to take some pictures of the bird life while the others chilled out at the restaurant before tuk tuking back to the hotel. A lovely outing.

The Punjabi Mohali ground was well appointed and full of tradition. We sat almost behind the bowler’s arm once more and there were policemen and women in heavy presence. The best public seats we had with a meal included between innings in the huge colonial banquet hall in the pavilion downstairs. It consisted of a tasty buffet Indian cuisine meal. I must say that very few of our group have eaten a meal of various curry dishes standing up holding the plate leaving one hand only with which to eat. There were no tables nor chairs. We watched the locals and realised they had no problem. So we just got on with it too.

The cricket scene proved to be the same with friendly people and photos galore. We all had long chats and even the military security staff paid special attention to us to make sure we were happy.

Watching a cricket game in India is different and memorable and pleasant.

Mumbai

We had an easy, uneventful transfer to Mumbai. Smooth, like a normal Howzat -organised transfer, to the Taj President which was well received by our clients.

The trip to the Elephanta Caves was very welcoming. As Andy pointed out we were using transport in Mumbai without the noise of incessant hooting. The smooth boat ride and the silence was such a treat. The little train ride and the walk up the 124 steps on the mountain took us to this hollowed-out side of the mountain Temple guarding its statues of the Hindu Gods which were eloquently explained by our experienced guide. We were all so impressed we wanted to have Hindu names for everyone but they proved to be too difficult to remember.

The afternoon city tour encompassed the wide divide of wealth and poverty in Mumbai. We started out visiting an outdoor slum laundry. Many people were washing all sorts of clothing, sheets, tablecloths etc in open baths or pools and processing them from pool to pool until eventually they were hung on ropes used for drying. The business seemed to be thriving providing a cheap service for many small hotels, restaurants and homes in the area and of course an income for themselves. They even had a school in one of the rooms for the children.

The next port of call was the house that Mahatma Ghandi lived in when he visited Mumbai. It has been converted into a three-storey museum and our supposed half hour visit turned into well over an hour. It was very well presented and we came away with new respect for a man who dedicated his life for his fellow Indians. We also stood on the balcony where he used to address his crowds until they became too numerous and they would go down to the beach. There were numerous famous utterings of his to be read. One that Mary or Judith pointed out to us read “To call women the weaker sex is a label, it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strong is meant moral power then woman is immeasurably man’s superior….. If non-violence is the law of our being the future is surely woman”. The argument followed a little later.

After a drive-past tour of the Hanging Gardens, which were closed, we stopped to view the memorial fountain and the Towers of silence where the Parsees leave their dead to be eaten by carrion as they believe that as they have taken from nature during life so they must give back to nature in death. Can’t really argue the point. A photo stop of the magnificent Victoria Railway Terminus was followed by a visit to the other end of the wealth scale namely The Taj Mahal Hotel. Colonial opulence at its tasteful best.

The evening was enjoyed by some by visiting the Leopards restaurant/ bar. We had a meal at the table next to bullet holes in the smoky mirrored walls left by the terrorist attack on this restaurant and numerous nearby sites. What a lovely, crazy place filled choc-a-bloc with people from all around the world. We sat at a table between Kenyans and local Indians eating splendid curry and pickles with a glass tower containing three litres of ice cold beer with a tap at the bottom to soothe our pallets and stimulate our minds. An England-shirted man added to the party by playing the last post on his bugle.

We made our weary way home in a 1960 Fiat taxi (one of 40,000) for a very modest fee.

The journey to and from the Wankede Stadium was clockwork but the cricket again was disappointing. The seats were good but in the heat of the sun for about three hours. This was too hot for some who had to seek shelter at the back of the stand but was fine for Nigel who did not notice he was sitting in the sun in 45 degrees Celsius. He’s tough. Luckily it was a day/night game.

Now we’re on our way to Kolkata and maybe Eden Gardens will be kinder to us. Richard has been singing ‘Blue Moon’ to rile the United supporters and is offering 6 to 1 odds on almost anything. Good banter.

Kolkata

A local Hindu Goddess – Kali (Kol)- lends her name to this kata (meaning area) hence the name of this vast sprawling metropolis, Kolkata. The Deity Kali is the one that makes us free inside and I think she must be very powerful as that was most definitely the prevailing feeling within our group. The name Calcutta is not used anymore locally.

After a short 15-minute trip from the airport, we arrived at our new Swissotel to enjoy a modern and comfortable residence for the next six nights. Following a free morning which enabled us to unpack properly and explore our surroundings – both within the hotel and the sizeable shopping mall joined onto it (with many cheap eating places and a drinking place called The Blue Nile – now just a mere trickle) – the group set off for the ODI at Eden Gardens.

Kali went to work again and our adventurers were surprisingly buoyant enjoying the call of the Kingfisher beer back at the pool bar and not letting a mere cricket whitewash restrict their freedom. After all there was still the Twenty20 to come.

Our city tour proved to be an informative and very interesting excursion with Asif as our knowledgeable guide. We learned that the city was largely planned by the East India Company trading mostly in cotton, zinc, indigo and spices, that there are three main languages- Bengali, Hindi and English as the official tongue. We were also informed that it was the capital of India until 1911 when New Delhi took over the mantle and that the population consists of 70% Hindu, 20% Moslem, 3% Christian and 7% others including agnostics to make up a total of about 18,000,000 souls. It covers an area of 1,384 square kilometres and the oldest Catholic Church dates back to 1599, a relic of the Portugese occupation.

Our first port of call was a visit to a Jain Hindu Temple. Through narrow streets, one walks via a huge portal into a beautiful garden with the most exquisite temple immediately catching one’s attention. I cannot attempt to describe the detail so please look at a photograph or recall it in your mind’s eye. Jainism consists apparently of the better-off in society and they are vegetarian. This Temple is dedicated to Shitalov (hope I have that correct) who is their 10th Goddess and the protector of fish.

From there we went to the Kumartuli – meaning the place of clay models. Here we could see the potters and artists making all sizes of various deities for their different festivals throughout the year. We met the full force of the Festival of Diwali (Festival of Lights) as it coincided perfectly with the timing of our visit, so most of the completed statues had been sold to be seen in processions on the streets. We had a good view of these later.

It would be fascinating to attend a talk by the erudite Howzat Traveller Mary Rance who has a degree in the study of religions or customs of the world (correct me Mary) where she could explain what we were looking at. On two occasions she briefly explained things to me and sense then prevailed and things came alive. I felt a bit like an ostrich which has eyes that weigh up to 80 grams each and can see clearly over vast distances but a brain that weighs only 10 grams. It can see very well but cannot understand what it is looking at.

After a coach ride around the city centre, with some of the most beautiful colonial architecture imaginable – including the awesome Governor’s House boldly sitting on 64 acres of gardens and trees in the middle of the city – we stopped at the St. John’s Anglican Church. Even religious architecture must take into consideration the tropical climate, so the building has huge openings on the sides with shutters that can open very wide for ventilation by the overhead fans. In the grounds of the church sits a very significant memorial monument. This pays tribute to the 123 men who died in ‘The Black Hole of Calcutta’. The original site of this 10 foot by 14 foot cell with no air vents is the cornerstone of the present General Post Office a short distance away. The memorial sits peacefully in the gardens of the church bearing the names of those who perished by suffocation. Horrible. Of the 143 men forced into this small space, 20 miraculously survived the overnight ordeal in that fateful year of 1756. It made me sad.

Also in the garden is the grand octagonal Tomb of Governor Job Charnock. Strangley, this tomb made me much happier.

It was time for some retail therapy so we spent 30 minutes fighting the hordes for some street shopping right in front of our original hotel the Peerless Inn. I think it made some of our group happy that we could escape to the Swissotel. The time allotted was too short for serious shopping and bargaining but proved to be a good recce for a later date.

After a very tasty and spicy (not hot) lunch at a local (off the tourist map) restaurant we drove around the Eden Gardens complex viewing the grand buildings of the National Museum, Fort William, The Writers Building and then stopped at the Eden Gardens Cricket Ground. It was swarming with police and security personell but Asif wanted to show us the ground inside the stadium. I held my tongue. We were met with a flat refusal. Armed with the philosophy of ‘ perseverance will win in the end’, Asif  reasoned the hind leg off a donkey disappearing into the offices now and again eventually accusing them of being bad for the nation’s economy and tourism in general until after about 30 minutes we were suddenly allowed in.

It was a lovely moment to be escorted by armed police and security to be able to view the stadium at ground level. Of course our group was very polite shaking hands with everyone in sight and what’s more we could even take pictures. It is something special for any cricket lover to experience one of the most famous and fabled cricket grounds on earth and our Howzat Travel group did just that. Asif had managed to do something in half an hour that had taken me four hours to do on my recce having had to get permission from the department of Internal Security.

In high spirits and amid congratulations for Asif we set off to catch the ferry across the mile-wide Hooghly River. It was a very pleasant interlude away from the hustle and bustle of the city moving through the warm air at a leisurely pace.

We docked opposite the railway station of Howrah, where our coach picked us up. This is a huge terminus consisting of 35 platforms, 23 for human transport and 12 for cargo. It handles 700 trains per day. Every thing is big numbers in this city.

Commonly called  The British Taj Mahal, this magnificent edifice formally known as The Victoria Memorial stands as proud as any that I have seen inIndia. It was our last stop of the day and certainly provided a suitable finale. Covered in marble and with its dome and turrets mixed  with columns and courtyards it’s a remarkable smelting of Indian and Victorian design at its best. The surrounding beautiful lakes and gardens certainly add to its palatial status. I’m sure the tax payers of old would have had a fit if they had known what was going on down in Calcutta. It must have cost a fortune to build but a heritage more beautiful I have not seen for love nor money.

Everyone agreed it was a great day’s touring.

Dave and Mary, Gordon and Judith had not had enough of sightseeing so they went again the next day to see different places. Well, it certainly was just that as they went to a temple where they witnessed the sacrificial slaughter of a goat! Nigel, Andy, Ray and Christine did their own thing and Richard, Geoff, Dave C, Paul and Des went bargain hunting. Having come across with 20 kilograms weight of baggage and allowed 30 on the homeward trip, I think it was Geoff when asked how many shirts he wanted to buy said ”10 Kilograms”

We five then caught an old 1958 Austin taxi home. About five minutes from the hotel we heard an almighty bang from the left front wheel. We immediately ground to a halt riding on the rim to park in the left lane of a freeway. It was a blow-out. There were no buildings nearby and, strangely, hardly any people visible. Our driver got out his jack and proceeded to rotate the handle. These are heavy old cars and soon we could hear him using a tone of voice in Hindu that could only be interpreted as swearing. He had turned the lever with too much pressure and it had snapped or more likely the car was too heavy for modern equipment. I have seen it in the African bush. You think you are in the middle of nowhere but have a breakdown and soon you will be surrounded by dozens of helpers. India proved to be no different. Our helpers were mostly young teenage boys but as soon as the word ‘cricket’ was mentioned they were our friends.

Our driver then proceeded to manually turn the jack to the required height and wriggled under the car to place the jack in the correct position. But first we had to lift the left side of the car up to an angle sharp enough for him to do that. With Paul the strong one among us and the help of  a few of us we tried but could not lift this heavy motor car made from thick metal of bygone times. All hands jumped in and any grip of any kind was secured by many hands and up she went. As we were reaching an angle of 45 degrees I could just imagine the car rolling over onto its hood into the next lane of the freeway. Just in time the driver shouted to lower it gently and all went according to plan and the old Austin rested on the jack with the left front wheel well clear of the tarmac.

The wheel change went smoothly and as we were about to lift the car again the driver said he did not want to risk that angle again and jumped behind the wheel and with aplomb amazingly and ludicrously  reversed off the jack.

We were cheered off by our new friends and now drove along very slowly as the replacement tyre was a racing car slick. It was totally devoid of any tread. The Blue Nile was the first stop upon arrival.

Paul had the flash of inspiration which led to us having our Farewell Dinner taking place at the poolside on the 6th floor overlooking a large section of the city. “Why not have a poolside barbecue?” He asked, “I’m sure they could do that for us”. So, after some negotiation, that is what I organised.

It started with a bang. We gathered for a pre-dinner drink and were greeted by a stray rocket from somewhere in the spirit of the Festival of Diwali which managed to accurately narrowly miss Andy’s strong chest and Geoffrey’s drink in his hand and crash into the wall amid us and burst into a spray of colours and sparks and explosions as it should have done in the sky way above us. Any Health and Safety man back home would have done his nut but here the staff just smiled and swept it away. We had to just giggle and know that we were part of India where tolerance is part of one’s character and the only way to survive is to be tolerant.

What I remember of the dinner was the good food and sweets but more than that I recall the spontaneous participation of our group. I have been on many tours and one of my yardsticks of a successful tour is when people sing. You sing at a wake or a party. Sorrow or joy. This was a wake of sorts as the tour was coming to an end but not yet. The party singing was started by that binding ‘spirit’ of the tour, Judith, with her truly beautiful voice –applause all round- I thought no one would dare follow other than Gordon. Dave Rance came to the fore with a powerful rendering of  ‘Unchained Melody ‘ backed up by all singing along to his lead and the party then carried on for longer than normal because Ray Ellwood entertained us with some tremendous cabaret that had him and us bouncing in our chairs. It was a good Howzat Farewell!

Further notes from the evening (courtesy of an email from Des to the Howzat HQ at 22:50, 26/10/11)

“They are mostly still partying at the swimming pool and watching the unbelievable display of fireworks across this huge city as it is Diwali as mentioned before and it sounds like a war is raging with non stop sounds of bombs and machine guns crackling in the darkness and lit up by the searchlights of the exploding rockets. It’s amazing but this has been going on since the sun set five hours ago. The visibility is being affected now by the thick pall of fireworks smoke that makes the streetlights look like they are enveloped in a thick mist on a clear starlit night. Weird. Hope the wind might stir tomorrow as so far on our trip it has gone elsewhere on leave. Not a breath on our tour so far. Richard has just walked into the room and says the chef says this bombardment will last until sunrise. Hence the tight security around this time as if India were attacked tonight they would not tell the difference between real fire and fireworks. Oh well, Good night . Dessingh.”

The next day was spent at leisure except for Dave C having to do more shopping in town for at least 100 people back home.

We went to the final T20 not knowing what to expect. We knew we were the World Champions but….

I thought things might go our way when during ‘God Save The Queen’ the big screen focused on our star Dave R singing passionately with good voice and dressed in the magnificent colours of Howzat Travel red shirt, standing out from the crowd but was not certain.

We left the stadium as a happy lot and then proceeded to take about two hours to get home.

Every street we took was filled with a procession of lorries, preceded by youths of all ages dancing weird steps and gyrations to the beat of drums, carrying the effigies that had been made in the Kumartuli village we had seen before but which had now been brightly painted and mounted in a diorama with lights all around. It was all very cheerful. Procession after procession passed us by until I thought we would never get home. What I found endearing was that each lorry was followed by a cart being pushed along by a fellow carrying a petrol generator rattling away providing electricity for the display of  hundreds of light bulbs illuminating the statues on the lorry. Some of the electric wires were dragging on the ground. No one cared.

I arranged for us to keep our rooms for the day until we were ready to take the bus to the airport which made a huge difference and a big thank you to the hotel management for that. The Swissotel had done us proud. I would recommend it to all and sundry.

Until next time, Des.

 

If you wish to read about more of Des' travel experiences, you should check out his book 'Sporting Travels of a Karoo Son'.

"A great read. It took me right back to my growing up years, working alongside and playing cricket and rugby against Des, so real. It then took me on a tour to some of the countries I played in and showed me that while us players are out in the middle we are only a part of the action as other stories are unfolding all around the game." Allan Lamb

You can buy it here - www.desnewton.com


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   


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