Will Luke at the World Cricket League February 6, 2007

Media hyenas

Last night’s closing ceremony was a big, loud, extravagant feast of an occasion. Suitably hosted at the Safari Park Hotel – a hotel large enough for me to lose a taxi driver inside its grounds – it was a luxuriant way to end the tournament. Tom Tikolo did his very best to control a hungry audience once the half-dozen speeches had finished, by letting the teams go up to the buffet in alphabetical order. Bermuda went first (cue wry jibes from cynical hacks on the media table), then Canada...but the decorum ended there and, led by the scavenging media, we descended on the mountain of food like a pack of hyenas. Apologies to the diplomats and dignitaries present for queue-jumping, but well done for joining in.

The food was magnificent, waiters serving meat, cut from the bone, off giant forks, right onto our plates. It was not the place for squeamish vegetarians – a meat lover’s paradise. Beef, lamb, chicken and even some I didn’t recognise, but it all tasted damn fine.

  • The humble travellers’ cheque doesn’t carry the weight it once did. At least, that’s what I have found out today. Seven tellers from seven banks in Nairobi’s central business district each turned up their noses at my crisp £20 notes which had been safely ensconced inside the safe in my room. One from Barclays even laughed at them, as though I was handling some dodgy notes made in my doss house from Fakeacheqistan. Eventually I found a “Forex” who agreed to take them, the relief even prompting me to propose to the girl behind the desk. I don’t know what I would’ve done had she agreed. Fortunately she wasn’t nearly as mad as me, turned me down and handed over my Kenyan shillings.
  • Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo