14th February 2011

Back in Bangladesh again; the land of slow, low pitches and last winter’s quote of the tour from Graeme Swann – “can you get Indian food out here?”

Today there’s an undercurrent of sadness felt by the team as we have to spend yet another Valentine’s Day away from our loved ones. Although that feeling is tempered somewhat by the knowledge we’ve avoided being mugged by Interflora and having to spend a candle-lit evening listening to our better halves bitch about their work colleagues’ dermatitis. Admittedly, as declarations of love go, that sentiment’s not exactly The Flower Song from Carmen, but if you want romance you don’t step out with someone who spends the entire summer rubbing a fading red ball along their thigh. Not unless that happens to be your ‘thing’, obviously…

Conditioning work began in earnest today with two hard callisthenic sessions in the morning and afternoon as we all mucked in to unpack the medical equipment we’ve had to bring with us. Who knew that EKG heart monitors weighed so much? Probably not Luke, who spent much of the morning complaining bitterly that he couldn’t tune it into Sky Sports News. At least we managed to get it all through customs, although where was a bit of a kerfuffle over a full size medical skeleton which turned out to be a sleeping Stuart Broad. Someone really should tell him to re-grow his hair.

Still, all the crutches, bandages, liniments, balms and trusses have been unpacked now, with only three of the squad ricking their backs in the process. Apart from that it’s very much all systems go with England, if, that is, we could find somebody to press the ‘all systems go’ button without ripping off a fingernail.