Geplaas deur Dan by IAfrica…dis skreeusnaaks, as jy krieket volg!
Wednesday, 20 August: Can’t wait for the one-dayers to start — all this waiting around after the Test series is getting very drawn out, and it’s getting to the guys. Had to stop Nella test driving his homemade bungee jumping cord off the top of the hotel with a very unwilling AB, and then take Vernon to hospital after he dropped a plate on his bare foot (and wasted a very good lasagne). No sign of Herschelle for the fourth day running though; bit worried about him. Flicked through the script for the hundredth time, worked on a couple of dance moves, and had an early night.
Thursday, 21 August: Very embarrassing morning. Got to the team room early, and for some reason broke into one of the Bollywood song and dance routines I’ll be performing in my first movie. I was getting to the crescendo — I pick up a piece of wood, double step down a beach, and hit a coconut to knock out an escaping mugger, and reunite a beautiful girl with her handbag, while singing about true love — when JP, Makhaya, Morné and Johan walked in. Very awkward silence; I muttered something about yoga and keeping fit, and left quickly. Had dinner with Kevin; we’re getting on really well, and I kind of like it when he calls me ‘Smithy’. Still no sign of Herschelle.
Friday, 22 August: Crazy day… Herschelle finally appeared this morning — turns out he’d been working a double shift at a nearby takeaway place, trying to earn some money. Didn’t realise he’d fallen on such hard times — he’s been sleeping on Albie’s floor, and renting out his room to a Polish family of six. Had to lend him kit for the afternoon’s game, as he’d flogged his at a pawn shop. Bad omens for the match, and we didn’t have a great day — Kev played really well, we didn’t, and we’re 1-0 down. Not a great start,
Saturday, 23 August: Vernon’s out for the next game as well — dropped a butter knife on the same foot he dropped the plate on a few days ago, and gave himself a nasty cut. Feeling really bad about Hersch, so let him do my laundry for a few quid — gives Mickey a break as well. Watched the rugby, which was horrible; throw in the Olympics, and not a great weekend for South Africa. Got a strange phone call just before bed: couldn’t understand a word, but think it was someone speaking Hindi. Could it be about the movie? Hope so. Had a couple of racks of ribs with Jacques, and went to bed. Can’t wait for the series to be over, so I can get to India and start filming.
Sunday, 24 August: Woke up with a start (and disturbed a great dream, where my first film gets an Oscar, and Jessica Alba asks for my phone number), by a large crash, and AB came tumbling into the room. Bloody Nella and his bungee jump. Thankfully AB was okay. Must be a full moon sometime soon, as Nella’s even stranger than usual (and still thinks he’s German). Team doctor gave everyone updated vaccination shots (you never know what you’ll catch in England), except for Vernon, who’s had tests, and apparently can’t catch anything. Bought a copy of ‘The Big Issue’ from Hersch, and then went out to see the new ‘Batman’ with a few of the boys. Big mistake — AB was absolutely terrified, and ended up sleeping in my room with the light on. Joys of captaincy. Phone rang again with the same person on the line — couldn’t understand a word, but almost certain it’s Hindi. Who could it be?
Monday, 25 August: Played golf with Mark, Jacques and Herschelle today (we paid for Hersch’s round). Quite bizarre — all four of us shot 83. Mark reckoned it was a sign, and that we’d all make 83 tomorrow. Mickey’s shoulder was a little painful after carrying my bag, but he should be okay. Got another of those unintelligible Hindi phone calls — could be a crazed fan, I suppose, but what if it’s a major producer? Don’t want to miss out on any big opportunities.
Tuesday, 26 August: Phone woke me this morning, with the same Hindi person on the other end — except it wasn’t Hindi at all! This time he spoke really slowly, and I could finally make out some of what he said: it was Peter de Villiers, the Springbok coach! He was in tears, and said that Saru had given him public backing, so he knew he was about to be fired. Could I please throw the game today to distract attention from the Boks, and do so spectacularly? He sounded so sad, so forlorn, that I just couldn’t say no, so I sat the team down, explained the situation, and we agreed that sometimes you have to make a sacrifice for the country. It was tough to swallow, but sometimes you just have to be bigger than the game. Wonder what Hansie would have said?
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