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BY: Altaaf Kazi

Before I go any further, I must admit that for the last three years I’ve been itching to visit my ancestral home in India…Unfortunately that idea has failed to materialize but my dream of visiting the sub continent whether India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh or Pakistan has finally been realized…

It’s around midnight as my fingers take to the keyboard like a Shahid Afridi booming six…I’ve never been this excited and amazed as I landed in Lahore a little over 24 hours ago…I immediately felt like a king as I stepped off my Etihad Airways flight to see hundreds of people lining up the bridge adjacent to the arrivals terminal for what I thought to be a royal welcome…Little did I know that they just parked off there, chilling at the airport to kill evening time…I still felt privileged though as I saw my name on two boards…It turns out that due to a miscommunication, my hotel sent two drivers to pick me up…well at least that made me feel welcome in the country!!!

The drive to the hotel – well how we did not involve ourselves in a collision is a miracle…One things for sure, you’ll never see me driving in Pakistan…Motorcycles, bicycles, tricycles, tuk tuk’s and not to mention cars and trucks vie for any open space they can find…Lanes are disregarded and a mere waste of white paint…There’s no such thing as road rules and you never quite sure if you driving on the right side of the road.!!!

With that bit of complaining out of the way, the fun began…Lahore is a city that in my eyes never sleeps…late at night the hustle and bustle of life takes centre stage…The days leading up to my trip all I was thinking of was chicken tikka…and after indulging in a half a tikka chicken cooked up by Nawaz off some side street near my hotel, my taste buds were jostling for more…I had to restrain myself knowing that I still have at least two weeks to go so definitely there’ll be many more opportunities for tikka chows!!!

At the end of the day, I am here to report on the cricket…So here goes…The Gaddaffi stadium in Lahore rates as one of the best cricket stadium’s I’ve visited…Facilities were wonderful, access was quick and easy and I even got to sign an autograph…apparently standing in front of a camera makes you famous in this part of the world so I duly obliged…Thanks to the chefs who cooked lunch in the press box…I saw those degs of food arriving and the smell was overpowering…My wife has got to learn how to cook Nehari!!! Oh yes back to the cricket….It was a great win for the Proteas, Herschelle and AB were absolutely brilliant with the bat while Makhaya although taking some stick did the early damage with four wickets up front!!!

Well done boys!!!! Second ODI on Saturday, also in Lahore…

Stay tuned for more from Pakistan…

Altaaf Kazi for in Lahore

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Comments (3)

  • Anonymous
    October 19, 2007 at 7:03 am Reply

    Looking forward to more, please keep it coming

  • Anonymous
    October 19, 2007 at 9:32 am Reply

    Altaaf : maybe you can give us some inside info as to why Bodi didnt play in the T20?

    We want answers

  • Altaaf Kazi
    October 19, 2007 at 1:38 pm Reply

    Anonymous, I wish I had all the answers…In my books he was a sure bet to play when Gibbs was injured…If only I was a selector!!!!

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