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Cold comfort

More wretched weather, but the satellite navigation on the way to Loughborough almost makes up

Mahela Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya share a light moment, Colombo, May 26, 2009
Bleepin cold here, eh Mahela? © AFP

I don't get why the English eat cold food in their icy weather - cold salmon, cold chicken, cold salad - even though I like it. They probably don't get how Indians eat hot and spicy food in our already sweaty climate.

I realise I've been whining about the weather every day since arriving in Nottingham, but I haven't seen the sun for three days. Sunday was the worst of the lot. It was miserably cold, and the wind toyed with my umbrella - I haven't used one in years. However, as a result of the terrible weather, I undertook a rather entertaining, and expensive, journey.

The rain prevented teams from practising at either Trent Bridge or the Lady Bay facility in Nottingham, and so Sri Lanka, who haven't played a game yet, went to Loughborough University to train indoors at the National Academy. As soon as we knew, I jumped into a cab to make the 17-mile journey in time to catch Kumar Sangakkara after practice. We didn't know where the university was in Loughborough, and neither did the driver, but his cool navigation system did, once we supplied the post code. "Take the second exit on the roundabout after 200 yards," it commanded, and we obeyed. "You have reached your destination," it said after 25 minutes and we stopped.

Learnt my first Sinhalese swear word from Sanath Jayasuriya. Can't say what it is but it sounds remarkably musical for a curse.

If you look at Sri Lanka's World Twenty20 squad page on Cricinfo, you'll notice Mahela Jayawardene is the only player who's not pictured in Sri Lanka's kit for the tournament. Apparently it was because he was ill when the photographs were taken and so he had to get one done on the eve of the game. He picked up a shirt that said "Mendis" and went to get snapped.

Didn't see the other half of the world's best spin combination at practice, but we were told he'd bowled his 40 minutes, had had his massages and was geared up to send his old foe crashing out of the tournament.

Kumar Sangakkara recently said that his personal motivation is to score 30 Test hundreds and 10,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs. When asked whether Sri Lanka would like longer Test series - they've never played one with more than three matches - he responds enthusiastically, saying it would take a really long time to achieve the 10,000-run or 100-Test milestone, if Sri Lanka continue to average only seven Tests a year. The rest of the team don't wait for Sangakkara to finish his media obligations; they've already left for Nottingham.

I watch England recover from their humiliating defeat to Netherlands by thrashing Pakistan to secure their Super-Eight spot, in a pub with a few other journalists. The English reporters are thrilled with the victory and promptly wipe the floor with us 4-0 in an India-England pool challenge.

Wake up on Monday morning with sunshine streaming through the window on to my face. Finally.

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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