Anyone who’s toured India will know that getting into hotel lift without carrying a set of rosary beads and enough food and drink to last you a fortnight is a pretty bad idea, and my own method of avoiding the lengthy incarceration that followed a power cut was to take the fire escape. And it was while descending down the concrete steps to the lobby that I invariably bumped into the then England skipper, pounding up and down in his gym gear, and spraying you with sweat as he passed.
Dear old Goochie. He even spread the fitness gospel to his team-mates, and on one England tour to the West Indies, he organised a group run from the ground in St Kitts back to the hotel. Which resulted in Northamptonshires Allan Lamb making the second half of the journey in a taxi, having pulled a calf muscle en route.
Being a Northampton boy and having grown up in town when the likes of Lamb and Capel were playing for the County it does give me an odd pang of please in illustrating my boyhood greats, even when in the final moments of editorial production Allan Lambs injury mysteriously moved from his hamstring to his calf and the hurried employment of white paint and re-painting on my part.