IPL 2013 May 15, 2013

Late-night table tennis, catch-ups, and a birthday

Chris Morris plays late-night table tennis, meets lots of South African team-mates, and celebrates his birthday

It has been a while since I last wrote, but in that time we've just done so much travelling that this is the first time I'm getting to stay in Chennai for a couple of days. It's quite nice to be in one place and I've really settled into the lifestyle we have here.

At first I thought it was odd when guys would stay up until 3 or 4am, then sleep until noon and get up to have a lunch that is actually a breakfast, but now I'm doing it too. We have table tennis tournaments and pool games that go on late into the evenings and my goal is to try and beat R Ashwin at table tennis at least once. He is just a machine and no one can get past him.

I think that's a small example of how much of a family set-up this CSK side is. I know it's a cliché but I really think that is one of the reasons we've done so well up to now. In fact, we saw Morne Morkel and Johan Botha last night when we played Delhi Daredevils and it's obvious their camp is going through some really dark days. It helps a lot to be winning.

We've also had some really nice outings. Albie Morkel, Faf du Plessis and I have been doing a lot of going out. We recently went to the new Phoenix Mall in Chennai. We have to take security with us now because we tend to get mobbed by fans, which is quite a new experience for me. I still think of myself as that guy who plays a bit of cricket for the Lions in South Africa and I get quite surprised when I get loads people asking me for photographs and autographs.

At the mall, we were absolutely thrilled to find a Nandos. The owner is a South African and he treated us really well. He let us sample all the new things on the menu and we've been back a few times since. There's also a Superga shop in that mall and I've spent a lot of money there!

Albie has had his wife over and Faf's fiancée is here but my girlfriend couldn't get time off work so I flew in my best mate, Matthew Turner, to spend a few days with me. Matthew and I went to school together and we've been friends since we were 11-years old.

It's also been good to see a couple of the other South Africans from the other franchises. When we played Pune, we had a few drinks with Allan Donald and Rob Walter. Let me just tell you that the hotel we stayed at Pune is probably the best place I've ever stayed. I think I am going to design my bathroom to look exactly like theirs.

We also went to visit the Blades of Glory museum in Pune, which was unbelievable. I don't think I've ever seen so much stuff in one place.

I think the best reunion was against the Sunrisers. Quinton de Kock and I both play for the Lions in South Africa and it was really great to see him again. Quinton hasn't had an easy time of it but he's really taking it in his stride. His girlfriend is here as well and they are having a great time seeing all the sights.

I actually thought Quinton may be in line to get a call-up to the Champions Trophy but it was nice to see our captain, Alviro Petersen, get the nod. People are starting to think about that tournament too now. Faf, for example, knew he was unlikely to get a game for us when he came here because of the form Mike Hussey is in and he is working really hard to get ready for the Champions Trophy.

For me, it's just about learning every day. I didn't even think I'd get as many games for CSK as I did and I'm just grateful for that. Although I miss home at times, there is nowhere else I would have spent my birthday. I'm just living my dream and loving every minute of it.

I must end by telling you that since my last post, I've turned a year older. I celebrated my 26th birthday in Pune just over two weeks ago and I got completely stuffed with cake. It's one of the CSK traditions to have your cake and eat it and that's exactly what happened to me.

South Africa and Lions fast bowler Chris Morris plays for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL