Nagraj GollapudiRSS FeedFeeds

Ken Rutherford

Asleep at the wheel

A good night's sleep never hurt anybody - except Tony Blain and New Zealand

Nagraj Gollapudi

Text size: A | A


© Cricinfo Ltd
Enlarge
 

Sharjah, 1986. The AustralAsia Cup semi-final. A herculean assignment for New Zealand, who are taking on the might of Pakistan - Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir, a youthful Wasim Akram and all.

For Tony Blain, our makeshift opener and wicketkeeper, the thought of it all brought on insomnia. Tony simply could not sleep. Sheep were counted. Corridors were walked. Books were read. Eventually a couple of sleeping tablets were taken.

Unfortunately for Tony, the effects lasted longer than intended. He was sound asleep in his room at 7.30am, which was when the team bus was supposed to depart for the stadium. Somehow he managed to get on the bus in the end.

As the keeper, he had a big part to play in the pre-match warm up, but he may as well have had duvet and pillow rather than bat and gloves. He was quickly escorted to the changing room for a lie-down.

Our captain wins the toss. New Zealand to bat first. I open, with that notable batsman, Martin Snedden. The plan is to protect Tony - to give him a chance to wake up.

Quickly we are 32 for 5. Out steps Tony.

Qadir is difficult to read at the best of times. Even more so when you are asleep. Tony plays and misses twice - the second time, the googly takes off stump. Thirty-two for 6. Tony walks off the wrong way. Fortunately the fielder coming in from the long-off boundary turns him around and points him in the right direction.

Tony sleeps well until after the lunch break, and feels rested enough to don the gloves. "What happened this morning, guys?" he enquires, as we walk out onto the field.

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi. This article was first published in the print version of Cricinfo Magazine

RSS Feeds: Nagraj Gollapudi

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Nagraj GollapudiClose
Related Links

    'My kind of bowling style is gone now'

Gavin Larsen talks about wobbly seam-up, the 1992 World Cup, and his role in the next tournament

    Busy keepers, and Waqar's bowleds

Ask Steven: Also, high scores and low averages in ODIs, most ducks in international cricket, and the 12-year-old Test player

    When Lillee bowled offspin

Dickie Bird on what happened when he declined a request for a change of ball once

'The man who had a winning impact'

Modern Masters: Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar discuss VVS Laxman's match-winning skills

The underutilised, and the ergonomically unpleasing

Beige Brigade: Odd bowling actions, the Onehunga Cricket Association, commentary doyens, and Mystery Morrison's Test wickets

News | Features Last 7 days

Youngest double-centurions, and the oldest living Test players

Also, the closest ODI team match-ups, most catches in a T20, and expensive Test debut five-fors

From Constantine to Chanderpaul

As West Indies play their 500th Test, here's an interactive journey through their Test history

Soaring in the 1980s, slumping in the 2000s

In their pomp, West Indies had a 53-13 win-loss record; in their last 99, it is 16-53. That, in a nutshell, shows how steep the decline has been

The contenders to replace Ajmal

Following the bowling ban on Saeed Ajmal, ESPNcricinfo picks five bowlers Pakistan may replace him with for the time being

I got more than I expected - Shastri

ESPNcricinfo spoke to Ravi Shastri, India's new team director, after the conclusion of the tour of England, where MS Dhoni's team lost the Tests, won the ODIs and then lost the only Twenty20 international

News | Features Last 7 days