Kevin O’Brien Blog
September 7th 2012 by Kevin O'Brien | Other
In addition to the ‘World T20 Tour Diaries’, we will also be featuring regular blog updates from Ireland’s vice-captain Kevin O’Brien as he writes on the sights and sounds of Sri Lanka throughout the coming weeks.
Kevin departed Ireland on Tuesday and gives his first update from Colombo
We boarded the Emirates flight and instead of turning right, we turned left into business class. What a way to travel! Real cutlery, no plastic forks here, and a choice off an al a cart menu. Don’t forget the glass of champagne myself and TJ enjoyed before take off and a few glasses of sancerre white wine with our main meal. Bliss!!
We arrived into a very hot and humid Colombo shortly after 8 in the morning where we were brought straight to the VIP waiting area, and our bags were collected for us and loaded onto the van. The journey to our hotel, Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, (our home for the next 3/4 weeks) took 45 minutes. Cardboard cutouts of international players from all over the world are dotted in various places throughout the city and there is a real buzz amongst the locals for the start of the World T20.
The journey from the airport was very typical of the sub-continent where by you can only move a inch at a time. Thankfully we had a police escort and could manoeuvre our way in and out of the stationary vehicles. The one thing that remains constant throughout all the sub-continent countries is the car horns. I still don’t know whether they toot the horn to warn drivers in front to get them out of the way or that they are coming up behind as we do back home. Either way, there is a lot of noise on the streets! All that aside, there is nothing better as a cricketer than touring here. The people are so friendly towards you and their love of cricket is endless.
We had a very light run around on Wednesday afternoon, consisting of some stretches, followed by a game of touch rugby to get the flight out of our bodies. The training camp kicked off on Thursday as we left at 8:30 just after breakfast. The days are split into two blocks, a morning session from 9-12 and an afternoon session from 2:30-5:30. In the morning I batted with Andrew White in the nets. We faced Max Sorenson, Stuart Thompson, and George Dockrell, along with the net bowlers supplied for us. It was hard to adjust to the conditions especially after the flight from the day before. Myself and Whitey finished off the morning with some strength and conditioning work with Brendan Connor.
The afternoon session started with bright sunshine, and it was warmer than the morning. I did a fielding session with Will Lintern (our baseball based fielding coach who leaves no stone unturned in his preparation work going into tournaments. Will was with us last year in the 50 over World Cup, and it’s no surprise our displays out in India and Bangladesh were top class).
To finish off my day I did some bowling work with Craig McDermott. ‘Billy’ has great experience and a vast range of knowledge after his impressive international career and last year worked wonders with the Australian bowlers as the beat India 4-0. It is great to have Billy part of the group for this trip, and he will be a valuable asset over the next few weeks. Within 5 minutes, he had changed my grip on the ball slightly and had me swinging the ball away to the right handed batsman, something I haven’t done since I was about 13. Having spoken to a few of the bowlers we are all looking forward to more sessions with Billy over the coming weeks, hoping to continue to improve as bowlers.
The first few days have gone by quickly and the boys have enjoyed getting back into the thick of things. With top quality coaching in all assets of the game , added to a first class physiotherapy, strength and conditioning programmes it all looks promising for this tournament as we have everything covered!
Fingers crossed the rain can stay away and we can have a fantastic training camp to fine tune our skills for the first game on the 19th.
Until the next time,
Kevin is writing this blog for his new website http://www.kevinobriencricket.com/ where you can keep up to date with all his very latest news and details.
You can also follow Kevin on Twitter - @KevinOBrien113