Having to do up my top button; Cap’n Cook referring to me as Timothy; the constant flexing of my abs to hold in the results of Yorkshire’s end-of-season Nando’s blowout – there are so many things to hate about the pre-tour press meet-and-greet at Heathrow, but top of my list is the official photo shoot.
The problem is it’s always the same routine. Experienced players sat at the front, crammed together like the seating arrangements were organised by RyanAir. The winter’s silver service fodder standing behind, with Samit Patel slightly to one side as he tries to buy himself a head start to the complimentary buffet table.
At least this year we tried to mix it up with a moody black and white With the Beatles type group headshot of us lined up alphabetically. A good idea until someone suggested we change to nickname order, and I had to stand there whilst Cooky, Trotty, Swanny, and Belly milled round aimlessly for five minutes before finally settling back into their original positions.
An embarrassing sight, and one that leaves me wondering if this might be yet another ODI series where England’s ability to think on their feet is found lacking.
Anyway, I’ll write again once we’ve landed in Hyderabad. Man, I hope BA are ok with Ravi overwriting the seat number on his ticket with “Front Row, Far Right, Saying Cheese”.