Homesick for a country I don't even live in

Daniel Vettori

October 23, 2000

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I didn't know it was possible to be homesick for a country you don't even live in, that is, Kenya.

But it was great to stay up until 4am (NZ time) while they cleaned up the Indians in the ICC KnockOut final last week.

For India, it was almost like a home game considering the wicket was almost identical to the ones they play on at home, and they had the backing of a crowd that was 99% Indian.

It was great to see the excitement on the faces of the guys after they had won, and it certainly made me want to jump on a plane and enjoy the celebrations that I have recently heard were exceptional and richly deserved.

Also, the prizemoney was great and it was a good initiative by the ICC to see if it can rid the game of match fixing which will be a great relief to everyone. I am sure there is no one in the team at the moment complaining about the state of the New Zealand dollar.

It is now been almost six weeks since my injury and I am slowly getting back into things. I'm doing some aqua jogging and trying to get a lot stronger in the abdominal region which has a direct influence on the stability of the back.

I should also be starting a gym programme shortly and all bodes well for hopefully making a return in the summer months. I need to get back to cricket because I am missing it too much.

My injury has given me time to reflect that it was almost four years ago that I started my career for New Zealand and in that time I have bowled close to 8000 balls in Test matches, not to mention bowling in numerous one-day and first-class matches for both Northern Districts and New Zealand.

Throw in millions of practises (especially when Steve Rixon was coach) and it adds up to a lot of balls, and this goes some way to realising the reason for my latest injury which has been hugely disappointing for me, especially considering how well the lads are going at the moment.

South Africa is going to be a huge challenge, especially considering how good the wickets will be.

But I know if the New Zealand side can contain South Africa when they are batting, they will win because of the firepower New Zealand has when it is batting at the moment.

Everyone seems to be in exceptional form, especially Roger Twose, Chris Cairns and Craig McMillan. They are controlling the middle order of an innings better than any other team in the world at the moment and are setting themselves up for a huge flourish at the end of every game.

I know Stephen Fleming will also have a great tour because he bats so well on wickets that have a bit of pace, and I can only see him cleaning up.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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