St Michael's Cricket Club

 

South African Expedition 2000

Friday 14 January 2000

We awake to grey skies, but at least it wasn’t raining. A taxi was arranged to take us to Centurion Park, some 10 miles due south. Our taxi arrives some 15 minutes after it was due. Matt enquires ‘Are you from Early Cabs?’ ‘Yes’. ‘You’re late’ he retorts.

The landlady looked nervous, and enquired if the taxi driver knew where the ground was. He assured her he did, but she was unimpressed. Her last words to us as we sped away were ‘Get out!!!’. It soon became obvious why. He didn’t have a f##king clue. Every 2 minutes, he would radio in to HQ asking for directions. Whilst travelling down a motorway, we missed our exit. Unperturbed, he reversed 200 yards back down the hard-shoulder, before cutting across some verge. It was terrifying; just like you see on ‘Police camera action!’.

At a petrol station no more than a mile from the ground, he sought further instructions. Turn back on to the main road and take the fourth right was the prognosis. He immediately went to go out of the wrong exit. When he did get back on the road, we immediately went to take the first right. Bonkers !!

Mike Atherton - God

Michael Atherton warming up

 

We eventually arrived after about 45 minutes, a journey which should have taken about half the time. The game should have started, but rain overnight meant a delay of about an hour or so.

Centurion Park was an impressive stadium. A big stand around on end, with grass banks around the other 2 thirds. It was a small crowd, and when play did get underway, South Africa limped to about 150 for 6.

We had arranged for the same taxi to pick us up at 6:30. Not surprisingly, he wasn’t there. Matt then spotted a couple of nice looking girls with a car, and charmed them into giving us a lift, even though they were going no where near Pretoria. Thanks ladies, wherever you are !!!

A few beers were had once again in the sports bar, followed by a soaking on the way back. The heavens had opened, and it did not look promising for the next day’s cricket.

Warm up at Centurion Park

More England players warming up

Saturday 15 January

 

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