No doubt, Cricket is a gentlemen’s game. In India, people treat the sport as a religion and also has the largest fan base in the cricketing world. Indian cricket fans are the best in the world. Not only in India, the Indian cricketers have a huge following in abroad. We now and then see people taking autographs, selfies and cheering team India when they are playing in other nations.
One positive thing about Team India when they play on foreign soil is that one doesn’t have to worry about excessive security. One can roam about freely, as long as he or she doesn’t step onto the field of play. Thus, they see numerous interactions with the ground staffs, the security personnel, and the team bus drivers.
Interestingly, the driver for the South African team, Andre Krog, is one of the jolliest people around. The Indian team has found new followers in the form of team bus drivers in South Africa. Recently, Andre Krog remarked how welcoming the Indian team is. He felt so enchanted by the warm welcome that the Indian team showed to the bus drivers.
Having greeted him on various journeys to and from the stadium, first in Cape Town and then in Centurion, it was surprising to hear him say he wanted India to win the Test match at the start of play on the fifth day morning. What was more surprising was him not wishing for his home team to seal the series.
Krog noted the South Africa team is not as welcoming to the team bus drivers as the Indian team. He mentioned that they do not consider him to be a part of the team. He felt very sad when he was denied a coffee at the team hotel after he had driven the team on such a tiring route one day.
On further prodding, it finally came to the fore that he has been quietly supporting the Indian team ever since the support staff has arranged for drinking water for him and also the Indian team driver gave him match tickets to help one of his friends watch the game.
He did not reveal the name but pointed out that there is one member in the South African camp who is not welcoming at all. On the contrary, he compared this with the Indian bus driver, Ronnie Moodley, who gets the feel of being in the Indian team whenever he travels with the Indian side.
“I have been traveling around with these boys for a while and even though the players are fantastic chaps, there is one official around, who, if he had his way wouldn’t even like to consider me as human. It is surprising how even though the players will be warm towards me, this official has a problem with me. I have been asked why I walked into the team hotel in the morning one of these days to order coffee for myself. This, after I was told by THE HOTEL that it was on them. To be honest, I didn’t know I didn’t even deserve a coffee after driving the players to the ground and back,” quoted Andre.
“Look at the Indian guys on the other hand. Not only do they treat their driver (Ronnie Moodley) with respect and welcome him to be a part of the team, they are the ones who ensure that I get my water bottles and cool drinks when we (Roonie and me) are waiting out in the sun as the team plays in the middle. Is it not basic courtesy to check if I need some water or something else? The Indian players are so warm that they gave the driver tickets to bring his friends and family and in fact, I used one of those as one of my friends wanted to watch the game,” he added further.
When asked the reason why he did not wear the South African jersey unlike the Indian driver, Andre said: “Obviously. I do not want to be now pulled up for wearing the team jersey when I am not a part of the team. I am happy in my shirt given to me by my company.”
This was a good sign from team India. What do you say?