Gah, I'm up shit creek now. Paddy was looking low after the hotel gym shut early, so I made up a report about overweight cricketers in our side to give him a laugh. He left it in the team meeting room and now it has been leaked to the media. How do I explain this to the board?
Sat with the boys during lunch to make amends. Asked Piyush if he'd tried the day's special - pigs in a blanket. He burst into tears and ran out of the dining room. What now?
If that wasn't unnerving enough, Yuvraj fixed a beady eye on me while he shovelled down seven rum-and-raisin cake slices. I tried to look away but it was like Jack Bauer gauging a target, while on a binge. I tried to make a joke that with all that rum inside him, people would suspect he spent the day at a pub. Not a smart move, Gary. A clown from the media overheard us and now I find a pub brawl story in the papers. I have a headache.
Got a call from Viru. He said, "Sirjee, I have read Mike Brearley's Art of Captaincy and I am fully ready now." I asked him ready for what. He just giggled excitedly.
Paddy burst into my room and said he had worked out what to tell the BCCI about our joke report. He said we'd tell them that yes, we felt fitness was an issue, and then we'd pull out Paddy's old dossier on sex being good for players and claim it was also the best solution to tackle weight problems. I narrowed my eyes at him, Steve Waugh gunslinger style. He wilted and mumbled that at least the players would like it. Hmm, I hadn't thought of that.
Got an email from John Buchanan suggesting I try a multi-coach system and only take charge of the Indian Test team, which is No. 1. Is there something wrong with me or do these ideas really make sense?
Packing to return to South Africa. Just noticed, Rohit's abs exerciser is still in its original packing. Must ask him how he managed to get it wrapped up again like that. The secret to re-gifting.
Ooof. Fourth text from Biff asking me to follow him on Twitter. I'd rather spend a day teaching geography to Jacques.
In the airport lounge with the boys. They were hunched over their phones, furiously typing away and sounding like a secretaries' convention just after a coffee break. Suresh asked me what I was growing on my farm. Really, sometimes I think all that mousse is affecting his brain. I told him I didn't own a farm in South Africa. He looked confused and said something about it being a game. No Suresh, I said, running a farm is no game. Like with everything else in life, it takes a lot of hard work and determination to succeed with agriculture. Cricket and farming aren't too different in terms of toiling and digging deep, I said, but he cut me short saying he needed to go to the restroom.
As we were leaving for our respective terminals, Yusuf walked next to me and asked what I wrote in the notepad that was always next to me during games. I smiled and said I was working on a new rain-rule method to replace Duckworth-Lewis. He laughed and said hopefully it would favour India. As if I'd tell him what I'm really working on the best-ever cure for hair loss, one that will make Warnie's Advanced Hair Studios plume look like roadkill crossed with Donald Trump. I'll be rich and I'll have rock-star hair.