My first trip to India was supposed to be a short-and-sweet two weeks for Test cricket, Holi and Goa. With the Indian Premier League season beckoning, those two weeks were quietly extended to four.
I ultimately endured some character-building overnight train rides to take me from Mumbai via Varanasi to Kolkata, where I finally fulfilled a lifelong dream to watch cricket at Eden Gardens. (Four years later, I returned with my then Indian girlfriend to propose.)
But before that, I booked a date with destiny, to watch Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar open the batting together at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Things didn’t go quite as planned.