Before anyone starts, no I am not going to be chanting that on the train, I just thought it would grab the attention of our Indian readership.
The rigorous GCIRC planning process has just noticed that the World Cup of Cricket for 2011 is to be held in India. To honour our fantastic adventure they’ve decided to start the tournament the very same day we set off from Mumbai in order to maximise the general confusion our event is likely to cause in the sub-continent.
It turns out that we will be in Ahmedabad the same day as the mighty Zimbabwe are due to tonk the Australians off the park. Anyone wishing to do that match could get off the day before (we have to go through it twice because of the rail map). You could then rail or fly to Delhi or elsewhere if you wanted to do more railing with us.
We aren’t due to be in town anywhere else the same day as a match. However, we will be passing back through Calcutta 3 days after India tackle England at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. This gives those of you who find the whole idea of spending 2 solid weeks on Indian trains just a bit too stupid, the chance to join us for a manageable, and highly nutritious ride south. You will be able to visit the Sun Temple at Bhubaneswar the following day, then the day after that spend 8 hours enjoying Chennai’s finest eateries during our Dosa Fest as part of the GCIBC (great circular Indian bread challenge) on Friday. You are then ideally situated to attend the England versus South Africa match being held in the same city on Sunday. (fans of Indian food are in the generally accepted food capital of South India, an extra day pigging out would be well worth it). If 3 days n Kolkata is too much you could come up and do our Darjeeling section, there aren’t any big matches that week till the weekend anyway.
Anyone who is up for a longer stint with us, but still would like to catch the England v India match (I’d sorely like to do this myself), can trade the Assam section of the trip for that. You just get off at New Jalpaiguri on the Saturday and we’ll perhaps see you back there 3 days later for some Joy Train fun, or you can spend a few days in Kolkata recovering from the previous week’s locomotive lunacy.
The full World Cup schedule can be found here. Eden Gardens is reputed to have the most intimidating atmosphere in all of India, especially if you are an Indian cricketer and it’s all going mango shaped at the crease. (Indian readers will be relieved that I have chosen not to post a youtube vid of the last semi final to be played on that ground. But we all know what happened ….) And for any Indians tuning in who may wish to point out that playing England these days is more like playing South Africa, here’s a guy I know you’ve all heard of who pre-dates our penchant for playing Pretorians.
One of “England’s” finest