Things that never happened

There are some weird and wacky rumours doing the rounds of the IPL circus. Following the discovery of R450,000 in cash inadvertently left in a PE hotel room by a member of the King’s XI management, another story concerning a large lump of cash has surfaced.

According to tales in Cape Town, a senior (very senior) IPL administrator requested the services of a security guard to accompany his wife on a shopping expedition to the Waterfront on the morning before the grand weekend of double-headers.

A man was assigned from the Newlands security firm, apparently, and allegedly arrived to collect his VIP customer on Saturday morning. Moments after collecting his passenger, he was supposedly handed a Gucci bag containing bank notes to the value of R480,000. Allegedly.

Even if that part of the rumour was believable, the rest of the story clearly illustrates that the whole thing was just silly gossip because nobody could spend that amount of money in just an hour and a half…and anyway, we all know that the world’s mega-rich use credit cards. Why on earth would they shop with cash, especially that much?

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Oh for the life of an English Sunday newspaper journalist. For one such man, last week was interesting ride.

Having arrived in Cape Town on Thursday morning, he just had time to check in to his hotel before attending the official IPL launch at the Convention Centre before grabbing a few exclusive words with KP and checking that Freddie hadn’t picked up a new injury on the flight over.

That evening was spent researching the infamous strip bar where Paul Collingwood was embarrassingly taken during the inaugural T20 World Cup last year. The research paid off handsomely with our man able to confirm beyond doubt that the girls frequenting the joint did, indeed, remove their clothing. But there is food available, too. At least, that was the conclusion drawn by the intrepid reporter when a tall, blonde Russian woman said: “I have strawberry, you have banana, let’s make fruit salad.”

Having been told that Friday night’s launch party at the One&Only hotel was more exclusive than the Oscars, he went down to the Waterfront to investigate…and walked straight past the military-style police and security, picked up a glass of champagne in the lobby and mingled happily with the assorted bigwigs before leaving to find a ‘real bar with real people.’

Saturday’s double-header provided him with the bulk of his copy, especially when Freddie failed again to pick up an injury, but was popularly supplemented by Bruno the dog’s 11-minute appearance on the outfield. There was just time for some shopping and a round of golf on Sunday before flying back to London in time for a few well deserved days of rest and recuperation in the evening.

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Goolam Raja was a surprise member of the audience at the opening ceremony on Saturday night. Sporting a Deccan Chargers golf shirt, ‘Goolie’ confirmed that he was, indeed, the manager of the Franchise.

“Gilly (Adam Gilchrist) called me about a week ago and asked me to do the job. I said I couldn’t because I was committed to the Proteas until the fifth ODI, which was the day before the tournament started. But Gilly said it didn’t matter, they wanted me. So here I am,” Raja said.

“Good boost to the retirement pension?”

“Umm, not compared to what everyone else is being paid, but it keeps me busy,” he replied.

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