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Curry, Sambuca and D-L

An Indian dinner and some jiggery pokery and trickery chokery

Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy performs at the inaugural Connect Music Fesival, Scotland, September 1, 2007
Neil Hannon: "... and this next one is for Frank and Tony" © Getty Images

The India-Ireland game on Wednesday was the last preliminary-round match at Trent Bridge, and the Nottingham tourist board kindly took the journalist contingent out for dinner and drinks after we were done filing our stories.

Writing for a website is a different kettle of fish from doing so for a paper, because there are no deadlines to meet. It's excellent in a way because there's no manic rush to bash out copy, unlike for the Indian newspaper writers, who wake up in England already behind schedule because of the four-and-a-half hour time difference. The flip side, though, is that since space and time are not constraints on the internet, you can file as many stories as you want and at whatever time, long after the newspaper reporters have been freed by the passing of their deadlines. Incurring the wrath of sleep-deprived colleagues on the desk is the only risk you run.

Dinner was at Memsaab, a restaurant which served the best Indian food I have eaten in England (I haven't eaten much of it, though). They even had Kingfisher beer, and I learn you only get it in Indian restaurants here. We moved on from the restaurant to a pub, where I was introduced to Sambuca and The Duckworth-Lewis Method. Not the system of adjudicating rain-affected games but an album of cricket songs by Neil Hannon, the singer from the band Divine Comedy. "Jiggery Pokery", a song about Mike Gatting's bewilderment at being bowled by Shane Warne's ball of the century, is especially terrific. I came back to the apartment and listened to it on Myspace repeatedly until I could sing the chorus, "Jiggery pokery, trickery chokery, how did he open me up? Robbery! Muggery! Aussie skullduggery! Out for a buggering duck."

On my way out of Trent Bridge for the final time until June 16, I notice a poster from the Nottingham traffic authority with a rather macabre pun on the Ashes. "People are dying to get into our photographs", it says, above a picture of a horrific car crash on a highway. Below the photo, in large red print, are the words "Take your family home, not 'The Ashes'".


"You all right?" The first time I was asked that I wasn't quite sure how to respond. Did I appear not all right? I quickly understood that it was a form of greeting; my suspicion was confirmed when someone asked me the question while standing next to me in the restroom. I'm not doing as the Romans are, though. I've stuck to "How's it going?"

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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