October 28, 2000

Alistair Campbell's Zimbabwe Diary

Zimbabwe's leading batsman writes exclusively for CricInfo. Here, in the third instalment of his diary, he reports on the team's early exit from the tournament in Sharjah and how they filled the remainder of their time in Dubai

Well, we came to a rather disappointing end to our Sharjah sojourn. We lost both our remaining matches, one heavily to Sri Lanka and the other, a more close affair, to India.

We played some good cricket in patches but unfortunately were not able to put these good patches into a whole game and thus came up a little short all the time.

However, one find of the tournament for us was Travis Friend. He ended up taking nine wickets in the tournament with good pace and bounce. He is only 19 years old and if he can stay fit, looks a great prospect for Zimbabwe's pace bowling department.

Away from the cricket, we only had two days off and as I said in my last report, golf and a barbecue on the beach were the planned activities.

Golf did not materialize as it was so hot and humid nobody wanted to go outside so I had no takers to come and play with me.

Shopping in a nice air-conditioned mall in the middle of Dubai was a fair substitute. Some of the boys also decided to experience a Waterwhirld type complex with long winding waterchute's etc known appropriately as the "Wild Wadii".

That evening all the guys congregated on Jumeira beach for a "barby" thrown for us by the Zimbabwean expats working in Dubai.

We finished our last game against India at about 11pm on Thursday night, packed all our kit, went back to the hotel, packed the suitcases and went straight to the airport to catch the 02.30 am Kenya Airways flight out of Dubai.

As you can imagine I am a bit Zombie-like at this particular stage, but such is the life of a cricketer on the road.

We're off to India in a week for 6 weeks. Two test matches and five one day games. What a life !