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Serious approach to down time

Another quietish week for me, as I look to get this back injury behind me, although I feel like I’m making progress. I’m spending four days a week in the oxygen chamber I talked about last week, and that definitely plays a big role in the recuperation process. Also, I’m doing a lot of rehab work and basically taking this time off seriously, as I want to be back in action as soon as possible.

As I mentioned last week, Imari and I headed off to a wedding in George over the weekend. It was great to be at the coast, as the wedding was on the beach, and fortunately, my back held up, as it wasn’t a long flight. The problem comes in when you fly long haul, jump on a bus etc, which happens in the IPL.

I’ve been asked what it’s like to be a recognisable figure when I go to functions like this wedding. It’s usually the same, with a couple of guys coming up to me, wanting to chat about cricket. It happens more often the longer the evening goes on, particularly when the guys have a bit of petrol in the tank! But, I really don’t mind, and I see it as part and parcel of the job I have. Also, Imari understands, and if I have to spend a couple of hours in the evening talking to someone who’s a fan of cricket, then so be it. I have an unusual job and I accept that what that means is that sometimes I’ll be approached and expected to give of my time. I’ve got no problem with that.

On a similar theme, I was shocked to see the news of Jesse Ryder being beaten up and ending up in a coma. That’s a really horrible story and my thoughts are with his family.

Speaking of New Zealanders, it was great to catch up with Scotty Styris when he played for the Titans. We were teammates at the Chennai Super Kings, and I miss the banter with the likes of Scotty and Tim Southee, another Kiwi with a great sense of humour.

Another thing I’ve been asked is how we spend our down time, or a short break between important assignments, such as the one now between the end of our season here and the Indian Premier League. For those not playing in the IPL, national team fitness coach Rob Walter will have them on a programme, to ensure they maintain some level of fitness and don’t get too out of shape. Nowadays, most of the guys are disciplined, so it’s not a difficult task. For the guys playing in the IPL, I think they’ll just be looking to stay sharp. As it is, most of them are still involved in domestic action, and could be playing right up until leaving for India. That’s probably the easiest way to stay sharp! Otherwise, for someone like myself, even if I didn’t have the injury, I would be taking it really easy, as that’s the way I like to spend my down time. We’re not all the same, but that’s how I prefer my time off, completely away from cricket, while other guys need to stay in touch.

Another shock was that result in New Zealand, with the Black Caps drawing the series with England. I’m really chuffed for those guys – I know a number of them – because they were written off before the start of the series, and they more than held their own against one of the best sides in the world. In fact, they outplayed them. So, hats off to those guys.

Now I’m looking forward to a fun weekend, with AB de Villiers getting married in Warmbaths (Bela Bela). We’ll be making the trip up there, and I’m expecting a few sore heads on Sunday, as the De Villiers family knows how to enjoy itself and have a good party!

It should be good.

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