ICC Champions Trophy Diary

A fire gutted the 24-storey Grenfell Tower, leaving (at the time of writing) 58 presumed dead, with the toll only expected to rise, marring the end to a riveting Champions Trophy in England.

At supermarkets, coffee shops, pubs and bus stops, there are poster after poster, asking for information on those unaccounted for in the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.   -  Shreedutta Chidananda

The Diary’s flat in North Kensington is barely half a mile away from Grenfell Tower, which last week was struck by tragedy. A fire gutted the 24-storey building, leaving (at the time of writing) 58 presumed dead, with the toll only expected to rise. At supermarkets, coffee shops, pubs and bus stops, there is poster after poster, asking for information on those unaccounted for.

Children, couples, and families smile out of them: the grief of those bereaved cannot be fathomed. There is much sorrow and anger in the neighbourhood. Shaqeel Ahmed, who runs a kebab shop near Ladbroke Grove station is struggling to come to terms with the incident. “The building is still there, just behind me. I cannot look at it. I lost so many friends, so many people I knew. How could this happen?”

Jeremiah Wallace accuses the government of understating the death toll. “There are so, so many more than 58 missing, man. They’re lying. The guys I used to play football with — I’ve not heard from them since that day.”

Shane Warne’s hurt

These are dark days for Australian cricket. A week after the team’s sorry exit from the Champions Trophy, there is more ignominy. As the Diary enters Edgbaston for India vs. Bangladesh, whom should it spot in an England jersey but Shane Warne! That's Shane Warne, who took 195 Test wickets against England, only 31 fewer than Andrew Flintoff managed over his entire career. “What happened to you, Shane?” asks the lift operator, a genial Englishman in his sixties. “Gah, lost a bet to Sourav Ganguly,” says Warne. “Have to wear this all day. Bloody annoying.”

During the England vs. Australia group match at Edgbaston, Ganguly and Warne had had a bet, over Australia advancing to the final. Warne lost. “You won the bet mate, so here I am wearing the England shirt & yes I’m in a world of hurt!” Warne later wrote on Twitter, posting a picture of himself in said piece of clothing.   -  Twitter

 

So it turns out that during the England vs. Australia group match at Edgbaston, Ganguly and Warne had had a bet, over Australia advancing to the final. Warne lost. “You won the bet mate, so here I am wearing the England shirt & yes I’m in a world of hurt!” he later wrote on Twitter, posting a picture of himself in said piece of clothing. Going by his numerous tweets on the issue, though, the Diary suspects Warne is simply enjoying the attention.

CT tickets

In Southall, a west London suburb that is effectively a colony of South Asian people, the Diary finds a great clamour for tickets to the final. Raman Gill, an India fan, is desperate for one. “Yaar, ek dilaado,” he pleads. Rana Shirza and Ali Aslam, whom the Diary approaches for their views on the fixture, presume the Dairy is a ticket tout. “I thought you were offering us tickets,” Aslam says.

Tickets with a face value of GBP60 are selling for, it turns outs, GBP1000 on the black market. “You can find them online,” Shirza says. I can’t afford that much.”

On the morning of the match, the Diary meets an India fan on the tube to Vauxhall station. Nishant, from Jaipur, has paid GBP400 for a GBP40 ticket, he says. “I just couldn’t miss India beating Pakistan,” he says. “I had to be here.”

The Diary was unable to find him in the evening.