A Different Swing - RCB players at Golf
RCB players head out for a relaxing game of golf
By Vikram Afzulpurkar
After a Karaoke evening on Sunday, the team headed for a golf course, a mini getaway from city life and the chance to be in bigger open fields. No crowd chants here and aerial catches that fielders struggle to communicate about. Just solitude and the chance to talk other things.
Ray Jennings, A B de Villiers and Johan Van der Wath teed off as one group, starting from the first hole of this massive golf course. Elsewhere Dan Vettori 'took guard.' Ray reminisced about his playing days in cricket, “Gatting, Gooch and the whole lot, mate. Played against them in the 1980s. Started off in 1979.”
It was in a way a sad story that during the ‘pariah’ years of South Africa starting from the late 1960s, the nation didn’t compete in official Test matches or limited overs matches. Hence many talented men like Jennings, Barry Richards and others did not register official international matches.
What Ray meant when he talked about Mike Gatting and others was the ‘rebel’ series that some cricketers from Test playing nations participated in. The cricket was of course of a high quality but something the rest of the world could not watch.
Anyway, at the golf course, the cricketers’ abilities were never beyond doubt in the swing of their golf club. Even at the ripe age of over 50, Ray executed drives of merit. The contrast was evident when one watched other amateur golfers nearby, whose style and grace, not to mention power could scarcely match that of the RCB boys.
Theo, the South African responsible for security kept a close watch in his buggy as he occasionally emerged from the trees like a Pinkerton detective. Then he disappeared to ensure no photograph hunters bugged the cricketers who’d obviously come to relax.
It was a marvelously refreshing landscape and a welcome activity from the continuous catching of flights and attending formal dinners. Siddhartha Mallya arrived shortly after the first group started and Theo was told to fetch him.
However, even the buggy was not fast enough to catch Sid who’d apparently started off at the ninth hole. The complication was that there was no solid layout map of the golf course, except as someone said at one particular hole. So, the main group didn’t catch a glimpse of Siddhartha until later.