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Fitness and getting my pose on

Apologies for the delayed comms – it’s been a hectic week or so, with my final few days in South Africa dominated by admin, the SA Cricket Awards and some sponsor commitments.

Anyway, I’m now in India – in Ranchi actually, which is the capital of the state of Jharkhand, which is located in the eastern part of India. Jharkhand is next to the state of West Bengal, which is home to Kolkata, but Mumbai is on the complete opposite side of India, on the west coast. So, that should give you some idea as to where we are. Chennai, our home base, is much further south of us, on the coast. I initially flew in there, when I arrived in India, before another flight to Delhi and then another one to Ranchi. So, I’m a bit over travelling at the moment.

We’re apparently in this part of the world because it’s meant to be drier than other parts of India at this time of the year, but I’m afraid that’s not the case at the moment. It’s quite wet here and we haven’t had much in the way of practice, as a result. So, I’ve been getting myself acquainted with what the Golden Tulip hotel in Ranchi has to offer. Not much, I’m afraid. Fortunately, I’ve got Albie Morkel and Chris Morris here with me. Unfortunately, the Titans are not staying close by. They are about 45 minutes away and they’ve been bragging about the fancy hotel they’re staying in. We’re hoping to catch up with them soon and see what all the fuss is about.

Otherwise, it’s just getting reacquainted with my Chennai Super Kings teammates, who have all been arriving in dribs and drabs. The next few weeks are going to be interesting, because most of the guys don’t have any cricket under their belts, including Albie, Chris and captain MS Dhoni. I’ve fortunately had some good time in the nets with the Titans and I played that one warm-up game, where I got runs, so I’m feeling quite confident. Right now it’s the qualifying rounds, which we aren’t involved in. So, we’ve got some time to get ready.

Looking at my last few days in SA, I had a great time. I worked really hard on my fitness, but then there was also some off time. We had the Cricket SA amateur breakfast, followed by the golf day and then the awards. I played with the KFC guys in the golf day and it was great, getting to know our sponsors a bit more and learn a little about their business and how they go about things.

With regards the awards, it was no surprise to see Hash Amla walk away with most of them. He’s an absolute inspiration and all his awards were well deserved. Hash is not the sort of guy to be in it for the awards, but it’s great that he receives recognition for his fantastic achievements. Likewise AB, who also picked up a couple of awards.

Before all of that, we actually had a fitting with our new team suit sponsors, T.M. Lewin, and a photo shoot for GQ magazine. I really enjoyed that, as that’s right up my alley, getting my pose on! But the only other guys who enjoyed themselves were probably JP Duminy and Fudgie (Farhaan Behardien). The other guys were helluva uncomfortable and just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible, particularly when the make-up got pulled out! It was also quite funny seeing Graeme Smith struggling with his suit, as the manufacturers seemed to be struggling with his height. All in all, for me, something different and a bit of fun. The same could be said for the shoot for Coca Cola, which was also around the same time.

But don’t worry, I’m not obsessed with making modelling a sideline career. Cricket remains my focus, and I’m keen to make a success of the next few months and beyond, starting with this Champions League Twenty20 competition. Having not played any IPL games this year, I’m hoping to get a chance with the Super Kings to show them what I have to offer.

Until next week.

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