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

    A year of triumph and disaster

Martin Crowe: Misbah, McCullum, and the ICC's efforts against chucking were the positive highlights in a year that ended with the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death

    Two fortresses called Brisbane and Centurion

Numbers Game: Australia haven't lost at the Gabba since 1988, while South Africa have a 14-2 record in Centurion

Zimbabwe's decade of hurt

The Cricket Monthly: Ten years ago 15 white Zimbabwean cricketers went on strike. The game has not been the same since
Download the app: for iPads | for Android tablets

    'Lara v McGrath was a great battle of our generation'

Dravid and Manjrekar discuss Brian Lara's adaptability

Would Brearley have picked Cook as captain?

Nicholas Hogg: Cook lacks certain qualities the ex-England captain listed as those fitting of an ideal leader, in particular, charisma

News | Features Last 7 days

The perfect Test

After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.

Kohli attains batting nirvana

Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat

Australia in good hands under proactive Smith

The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game

What ails Rohit and Watson?

Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena

Karn struggles to stay afloat

The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be

News | Features Last 7 days

    BCCI's argument against DRS not 100% (164)

    Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough

    Karn struggles to stay afloat (114)

    The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be

    Kohli attains batting nirvana (110)

    Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat

    When defeat isn't depressing (57)

    After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test

    What ails Rohit and Watson? (50)

    Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena