06 May, 2021

The Oval Diary

In Cricket World Cup season, a diary from Oval.

The Oval Diary
Breakfast at Corinthian

It’s Sunday morning and outside St Mark’s Church of England primary school a preacher in brown tweed, with cordless headphones and mike, is extolling those willing to listen about Jesus’ power. “Compassion, mercy, empathy, kindness, brotherly love…” he goes on breathlessly. But sadly for him the St Mark’s is right at the entrance of The Oval’s Alec Steward gate and today the only gods are the eleven on the field inside, with these virtues he is gushing about what’s least on their minds. The crowds could be the scene outside Wankhade or Chinnaswamy—the snatches of conversations in Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali—except for the black London hackneys, white policemen in blue uniform and the grey sky.

As we wait to take the lift up to the fourth floor to the Corinthian Roof Terrace, there is a chant of ‘Sachin, Sachin’ and sure enough there...

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