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General Cricket


by: conrad_a_bedford



It´s hard to believe that just a few years ago our idea to invite two English teams over to La Manga for a tour turned into an 8 team multinational tournament for charity! It was unexpected and new four years ago, but now we are planning the 5th event finding ways to grow the tournament and make it fresh becomes more of a challenge. Every year we have been able to throw in a few surprises. Be it a celebrity guest, teams from new countries, international players or even something as small as an English Ice Cream Van down at the grounds! However, this coming year things have stepped up a gear !

After being contacted by Tommy Miah, the celebrity chef from Bangladesh known as the Curry King, things have taken on a life of their own. Tommy will be opening a brand new cricket academy in Bangladesh next year and has requested help from Madrid CC to promote his academy by way of a benefit dinner on the Saturday night of our T20 tournament in La Manga Club Resort. As well as eating some amazing Bangladeshi cuisine cooked by Tommy himself, guests will be treated to some great entertainment, an auction held by Farokh Engineer and the hospitality of La Manga Club Resort !

The money raised at the dinner will go to Farokh’s chosen charity, a homeless shelter in India , and ASTI , an amazing organisation set up to help the victims of acid attacks. The first six victims helped by ASTI were, in fact, operated on here in Spain by some top Spanish surgeons! Since our first contact with Tommy 2 months ago the event has been announced all over Europe and Asia, advertised on the ECC Website and we have even been interviewed live for 90 minutes on a Bangladeshi TV station that is broadcast on SKY Channel in the UK

In 2012 we are also very happy and honoured to welcome a brand new addition to the event. Netball Madrid will be running a netball tournament alongside the T20 tournament in order to help us raise more funds and to promote netball here in Spain . It promises to be a great event and we look forward to their company in April.

The event is open free of charge to any and all spectators and tickets for Tommy Miah’s Benefit Dinner will be available to the public on sale as of the end of January. Don’t miss out on the best cuisine Bangladesh has to offer! Come join us in April

Jonathan Woodward – President Madrid CC

It had been a good couple of years since I´d been to London, when I had travelled there to watch themighty Spurs humble Chelski in the Carling Cup Final, but this time I had been invited for an entirely different reason. Tommy Miah (the Curry King) had invited me to stay at his hotel i Islington before being interviewed live on Channel S  that evening. ME !! On a TV show broadcast lie on SKY Channel. 70,000 viewers in the UK alone ! Now that was scary !

On arriving at Tommy Miah’s Raj Hotel I felt very much at home being back in London , albeit (for a lilywhite!) a little too close to the red side of North London! Nothing more than open the door of the hotel I was greeted with a smiling receptionist and the most amazing smell of food that would make anybody hungry in an instant! Tommy was there to meet me, and whilst we sat down to discuss the interview over a coffee, all I could think of was if Tommy’s food tasted as good as it smelt I was in for a treat!

 As the afternoon wore on, more and more people turned up to the hotel. There were 9 of us in total that would be involved in the 90 minute show and I was soon surrounded by some amazing people. Farokh Engineer, the ex Indian wicket keeper and batsman, was his normal charismatic self and happily chatting away. We were soon joined by John from Asti , Rod form Cricket Scotland and an array of politicians and cricket coaches. It quickly occurred to me that I was probably the least experienced person in the room, with regards to speaking with the media, but I felt unusually calm thanks to the friendliness of the other guests and the hospitality of Tommy.

 As the time come to travel to the TV studio we all stepped out into the brisk autumn air expecting a few taxis to be waiting for us. However, there were no black cabs in sight, just a huge stretch limo and the chauffer ushering us in. None of us expected this at all so it came as a great surprise, especially as the journey took some time in the London traffic and there were two bottles of champagne on ice inside the limo ! 

Two glasses of champagne later we arrived at the TV studio and were warmly welcomed by the producer of the show. He explained that the show would be broadcast live in three 30 minute segments and I was to appear in the second one. Whilst we waited for the show to start we swapped our champagne for a mug of tea – probably a smart move – and tucked in to a couple of digestives. It was now 8.15pm and none of us had eaten since about midday. The digestives didn’t last long!! 

 First up were Tommy, Farokh, Rod and John. The rest of us watched the show on the TV in the lounge. Farokh, very comfortable in front of the camera, kept the conversation running smoothly and made everything look natural and easy. In fact, his calmness was infectious and for a good 20 minutes I had virtually forgotten why I was there……. Until Farokh mentioned my name and I was jolted back to reality! WHY did I agree to this??? 

As the adverts came on, the producer came to get Sam (the director of a leading cricket coaching academy) and myself. We replaced John and Tommy and joined Farokh and Rod on the blood red sofa for the second segment of the show. The room wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Everything looks so light on the TV, but the studio was in fact a very big, dark room with powerful lights focused directly on to the sofa. 

The first few moments before being introduced by the presenter were quite nerve racking and it probably showed on my face. But determined not to end up on a TV blooper show, I steadied my nerves. Well a little anyway! After the introduction of the presenter and realising I was there to talk about a topic I was passionate about, it dawned on me that I really didn’t need to be that nervous. In fact, after a minute or two and with a few directional questions from the presenter, the four of us virtually entered into our own conversation as if we were still at the pub. 

The 30 minutes went very quickly and I was soon sat back in the lounge watching the 3rd segment and remembering how hungry I was. 

The journey back to the hotel was a lot quicker after the rush hour and we arrived around 11pm. Rod looked like he was going to eat his jacket and I had already started on mine! I was soooo hungry and the hotel was awash with the smell of Tandoori Chicken. We finally sat down at about 11.30pm and enjoyed the best “Indian” food I have ever tasted. Tommy really is a fantastic ambassador to Bangladeshi cuisine! And his hospitality just didn’t let up either! Ordering me fresh Cobra beers before I had finished half of the one in my glass, I quite happily sat chatting to everyone until the small hours of the morning. It was a great end to a truly unique experience. 

Jonathan Woodward – President Madrid CC


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