Kearan Gibbs is an aspiring 11-year-old cricketer. Scratch that. Kearan Gibbs is an aspiring 11-year-old cricketer with no arms from the elbow down.
The oldest inn in Great Britain, Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem is a local landmark, and lies just below Nottingham Castle. More interesting for me is the church in the middle of the famous Lace Market in the town centre that has been converted into a pub. The Pitcher and Piano opened in 1998. Originally it was the High Pavement Chapel, a place of worship for Unitarian Presbyterians, till the late 1970s. But a combination of dwindling Unitarian population and later the high cost of maintenance made the chapel redundant, till P&P stepped in.
With England wrapping up the second Test inside four days, there is enough time to learn a little about Harold Larwood, who arrived in Nottinghamshire from the coal mining cricket league, which also produced another great player for the club: Larwood's fast-bowling partner Bill Voce. Sadly, apart from a statue and a Larwood and Voce Stand, there isn't much by way of a legacy at Trent Bridge. Still, the statue is a beauty, depicting Larwood in fluid motion in one piece of metal, and helps you imagine how smooth, simple and effective the action it is based on was.
Peter Willey sits in the stands with his wife. Both are eagerly waiting for their son David, a left-arm quick for Northamptonshire, to bowl against the Indians in the practice match. Willey, the former England batsman and an ex-ICC Elite panel umpire, is normally a quiet and composed man, but as a number of Indian fans move about during deliveries, he gets increasingly irritated. As Willey Jr is about bowl his first ball, his mother says to a couple of the Indians: "Oh, please, let us watch the cricket." Her husband sits on the edge of his seat, hands folded. "It is terrible feeling. It is almost like I am playing every ball for him," Willey says. They cheer and clap when David gets Gautam Gambhir lbw.
Mohammad Kaif stands in a corner of the Danubius Hotel in London. He is heading back to India after what he describes as a wonderful and quiet holiday in Switzerland. He knows India have lost the first two Tests, but not about Zaheer Khan being out for the next few months, or about the injuries to Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh. "There is too much emphasis on Twenty20 cricket," he says.
London is burning, Birmingham edgy. About seven in the evening, a police chopper hovers. A woman runs past. Pedestrians walk swiftly. An already dark and overcast evening seems darker.
It is Edgbaston groundsman Steve "Rebel" Rouse's farewell Test. Did anyone - player or official - thank him for his efforts? "Never," Rouse says, after giving it some thought. If there is a fond memory he will retire with, it is of Brian Lara waving to him and acknowledging the groundsman's contribution after his memorable 501 in 1994.
"Sheepish India have gone to the dogs" is the headline for the Daily Mail's main cricket story, written by Martin Samuel, usually a football columnist, who is the current Sports Writer of the Year, as voted on by the Sports Journalists' Association. Accompanying the piece is a picture of Ci, a border collie, who, Samuel writes, has a disadvantage: Ci is terrified of advancing herds of sheep. India, Samuel says, have suffered from a similar fear when England as a group have charged at them.
Shane Warne, one of Sky's experts, is making his way onto the ground for the review of the third Test, along with the two Michaels, Holding and Atherton, who are waiting patiently for him. But a young Indian steward does not let Warne's companion, Liz Hurley, onto the field. Warne pleads with the man but the steward doesn't budge. Luckily for Warne another steward comes to his rescue, allowing him and his celebrity girlfriend onto the hallowed turf. But the question that hang in the air, like Hurley's perfume, is why she should be allowed onto the ground at all, considering Warne is not even playing.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo