Day 1 - Richard Johnson
So here it is; my first trip away as a Derbyshire player.
Exciting times ahead and Sri Lanka is the destination, where we undertake a 10 day training camp learning to play against spin in tough sub-continental conditions.
However, the first battle ahead is the ridiculously long journey, including a testing 14 hour wait in Mumbai airport... How will we cope?!
I was thinking before the start of this tour: "how on earth can I make a big impression on the lads during my time away? How can I stand out above the rest and really make an impact?"
Well luckily for me, within the first 10 minutes of the coach journey down the M1 towards Heathrow, an opportunity jumped at me. I knew I had to grab it with both hands and not let go. The special game on the iPad that goes by the name of Darts Night. This is it!
Little did we know that this game was going to make such a big impact on our lives for the next 24 hours.
I'm sure I'll get quite a lot of stick from the lads for saying this and plenty of disagreement, but I honestly believe I took the standard of performance on Darts Night to the next level. 14 hours in Mumbai Airport seemed to fly by and before we knew it we were on the plane to Colombo.
On behalf of the lads, I know we'd like to thank Head Coach Karl Krikken, Chairman Chris Grant and CEO Simon Storey for arranging the luxurious executive lounge at the airport. It certainly aided our stay!
Anyway, so far the trip has been brilliant and all is flowing smoothly. We arrived early in the morning and with our body clocks taking a serious blow we managed to sneak in a couple of hours sleep before stretching our legs along the beach and having a relaxing swim to get rid of the long journey.
Everyone has been friendly and extremely welcoming and the hotel facilities are second to none. The food is sensational!
We're all looking forward to our first day of cricket tomorrow and really getting to grips with the difference in conditions that Sri Lanka has to offer.
Day 2 – Tom Knight
After spending the first half of my winter in Australia, it was nice to catch up with all the guys in Derby and get the opportunity to work on my game in Sri Lanka.
The hospitality has been top draw so far and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the trip.
Sadly my spinning finger might fall off before we go home as I’m not sure there's enough plasters in the medical kit to last. The saying 'no pain no gain' comes to mind.
After settling into my hotel room I quickly realised what I was in for rooming with senior players and longtime roomies ‘Tina’ Turner and ‘Dino’ Palladino and was handed the following plan for my day.
6.30am: Wake up and check weather
6.32am: Layout Dino and Tina’s clothes in accordance with weather check
6.45am: Prepare two coffees; milky, no sugar.
6.55am: Wake up Dino and Tina
7.15am: Fetch breakfast for Dino and Tina
Rest of the day: Remain on hand should Dino and/or Tina need anything
Luckily they were joking but I'm still waiting for someone else to make a coffee in our room apart from me.
Despite the healthy cut on my spinning digit, it was still a productive morning in the nets and I managed to get a good bowl under my belt which I'm sure will stand me in good stead the rest of the trip.
The only thing I need to achieve now is to win a match on ‘Darts Night’ and break my current run of losses. Not sure I'm going to achieve that target though.
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