The vast horde of 39 LGS boys and five staff arrived promptly at the car park, eager to explore the amazing sights, cultural diversity and tantalising food that the long haul flight had to offer. Despite the odd hiccup the journey was on the whole uneventful and the tour party landed in Dubai early in the morning.
Day 2 began with us witnessing one of the richest, most extravagant cities on the planet from the inside of an airport. Soon, however, we were in-bound for Chennai, with the plane landing smoothly around lunchtime. Having passed through Indian immigration, we swapped our pounds for paper and set out to the hotel. There is something to be said for the road system in India; almost as chaotic as the Friday lunch queue, but far less deadly as the prospect of chips isn’t as prominent on the sub-continent. After rooms were assigned and settled into, we travelled just down the road to the hotel pool for a calm and pleasant afternoon.
The first and only training session took place on the third day, with many a hockey player both feigning injuries and wishing they played cricket, due the immense and scorching heat. As is tradition on tour; new haircuts were modelled, with Daniel sporting a number 21 shaved into his scalp, akin to his playing number.
The first round of matches dawned. Hockey players were excited to find out the Greater Chennai Hockey Association had organised a tournament in which both the 1st and 2nd teams were entered. New coach and late addition Johnny took the reins of the 1st XI, pioneering a new team structure and shuffling the pack a little. However, although the team took to the changes with scepticism, they put in a solid and resolute performance, taking them to a close 3-2 victory. Kaylan bagged all three goals, but a mention also to Sam for his exceptional performance. He is sure to become the corner stone for the tour team, throughout the next six matches.
The 2nd XI attempted to follow in their counterparts’ footsteps, but found themselves against stiff opposition and came out as 6-3 losers. Daniel led the side well adding two goals to his name, with Abhijai taking the third.
The cricket team went in the bat first on an unfamiliar pitch; dry, hard and uneven. A notable batting performance by Charlie held the innings together, with the final total at 118 posted once all ten wickets had fallen. Chris spearheaded the bowling attack, taking five wickets, but unfortunately the Indian side were able to chase them down losing eight wickets in the process, making for a tense finale.