Thanks to the amazing hospitality provided by the Rainbow Nation and its people, I just couldn't sum it all up in my previous blog. Here's an account of my interaction with two..well, I won't reveal it all out here. Read on to know who these two gentlemen are.
Venue: Hotel Sandton Sun lobby, Sandton city, Jo'burg.
Early morning buffet breakfasts at the Sandton was something that I always looked forward to. Apart from the yummy breakfast , I got to meet interesting people there. Seated across me were two men, in their late fifties and what started off as a casual cricket chat went on to become a full fledged tete-e-tete.
The two gentlemen Arrie de Beer, a South African and Ronald Hope from England, told me that they had been to India on work. Curiosity creeping, I wanted to know if the Indian Premier League (IPL) had got them all the way to India. And surprisingly it had.
Being the Chief blogger for one of the IPL teams, Royal Challengers Bangalore, participating in the tournament; I was more keen to know, which team they were rooting for this season. And faced some disappointment when I received a unanimous "Our lips are sealed. We can't take sides." Still prodding a bit further I let them in on my fanfare for the Royal Challengers, hopeful that they would spill some beans or their take on RCB. And bingo..it worked!
|Ronald Hope and Arrie de Beer(r)|
Arrie, just couldn't stop raving about our coach, Ray Jennings (yes, I did mention him in my first blog). Being a cricket enthusiast and having travelled around the world with teams, he knew most of the players from close quarters. And Ray, he said, was one of the finest individuals and mentors a team could ever ask for. (No..his Protean connect has got nothing to do with the volley of praises for the coach)
Ronald Hope, from Manchester, was more of a football fan and was surprised about how we Indians follow cricket so ardently. "Isn't Hockey your national game?" he asked. I sheepishly admitted that it was but we Indians followed cricket as a religion and hockey as a result took a backseat.
Now, it was my turn to fill them in about the various fan club activities that team RCB undertook and how we were doing our bit for the environment, apart from being a cricket franchisee. The two were mighty impressed by the 'Go Green' initiatives.
As the rendezvous was cut short by Indian team skipper, M S Dhoni's entry, I wanted to know their profession, as they seemed huge cricket buffs like me. I was in for a surprise when I got to know who the 'fans in disguise' really were.
P.S Sir Arrie and Sir Ronald Hope, were the two ICC officials monitoring the tournament (CLT20). And finally Sir Arrie did give in to my persuasion and admitted that 'HE IS ROOTING FOR THE ROYAL CHALLENGERS' All thanks to this chance encounter at the breakfast, I found a new RCB fan.
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