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The Other Tour

The 1981-1982 Cricket tour to India the subject of a BBC2 film in the April, named The Other Tour. Amazingly, the film can still be viewed online, thanks to the wonders of YouTube!

Do you recoginise yourself in this? Please do share your memories if so!

Derek Semmence, the College’s Cricket professional, recalls the tour in the 1981/82 Hurst Johnian magazine in an excerpt from his diary. Looking back from the Health & Safety focused 2020s it makes for interesting reading.

"Playing an Indian MPs Xl today which includes the Speaker of the House and a couple of ministers. And after the match entertained at an exclusive club used by the senior members of parliament, and at which only international touring sides and visiting beads of state are entertained.

After play on the Sunday of the Bangalore Test Match we were hosted at a party by Raman Subba Row, the England Tour Manager, and we were present during Sportsnight when the Sportsman of the Year Trophy was earlier presented to Ian Botham. Many of the boys had their photographs taken holding it. Later that night several of the boys met Boycott, Willis and Underwood. They included a very excited Semmence Minor who shook bands with Boycott.

The advance party travelling from Bangaloreto Mysore had a traumatic journey being driven by a mad man at great speed.  Finally were stopped by the petrol tank falling off and being dragged along the ground and splitting. But while waiting for repairs to be completed were invited to a nearby school and entertained by the pupils who sang songs and acted a play.

In Calicut we stayed in rather a shoddy hotel which was a low point on the tour as after a long journey by coach we were all looking forward to a good meal Unfortunately it was not so good, and to crown it all during the night we were kept awake by the continual barking of about thirty pariah dogs, all of which I would gladly have shot. ..

But within twenty four hours all had changed as we had a fantastic game of cricket watched by 8,000 people, and we won off the very last ball of the game thanks to Mark Allbrook's offspin bowling. At the end of the game hundreds swarmed onto the pitch and we had to wave to the crowd from the balcony. We were hosted to a superb party in the evening and once more we felt back on top of the world."

In Cochin we played in a temperature of 98 degrees which was rather hot. Kovalam Beach came as great bonus as the younger children had become tired with so much travelling. My daughter Jacqueline seemed to enjoy the teasing of the boys• and she is only seven.

In Bombay we all stayed privately and played six matches in all. The BXI played on the Bombay Gymkana Ground which was the original test wicket in Bombay. Immediately we finished our match the Australians and the Argentinians played a practice match for the world cup in the outfield. In fact, we all watched two world cup matches - England v Holland and Pakistan v Argentina. While in Bombay my son played cricket from 9.30 in the morning to seven in the evening, almost non-stop. This was just before he was ill.

In Rajlcot at Rajkumar College we were hosted by Peter Rogerson, who is the last English headmaster left in India. Here we played for the elephants donated by the Jam Sahib. There is an inlaid ivory one which we brought back with us, and a pure silver one which Rajlrumar retained. By this time my son had become dehydrated and contacted measles.

Onto Jamnagar home of the Jam Sahib where we stayed in the Palace. For me this is becoming a second home as I have spent over a year living there in the course of six visits to India. It is a pity that the television film will not show this aspect of the tour."

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