The Manchester of Pakistan

Trip Start Nov 17, 2005
Trip End Dec 04, 2005

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Flag of Pakistan  ,
Saturday, November 19, 2005

I had imagined Pakistani cities to be incredibly noisy, dirty and crazy. I was not disappointed. When I eventually picked up my blessed bag off the carousel - many of the hundereds of containers of holy water brought back from Saudi Arabia by pilgrims had leaked during the flight, and my bag had got a good soaking - I was immediately surrounded by porters and locals wanting to know if I was a player for the England team.

Of course I was, I said, my name is Darren. Darren Gough. I'm arriving late as I've been on that ridiculous dancing show but now I'm ready for some cricket. Which one of you good men is my driver?

After a few handshakes and 'you velly goods' they asked to see my Three Lions tattoo, and that's when the game was up. I grabbed my bag and hopped into a taxi for the first of many hair-raising drives through the Lahore traffic dodging bikes, donkeys, handcarts, tuk-tuks, pedestrians, food stalls, trees and policemen. The plan was to take a bus for the 3 hour drive to Faisalabad but after haggling with Al-Onso my Formula One driver he took me there for the equivalent for 20 pounds.

Faisalabad is called the Manchester of Pakistan because they have at least two things in common: 1) it is the textile capital of the country (as was the original Manchester 150 years ago) and 2) Roy Keane isn't here either! Honk honk!

I've managed to find a hotel but it's not the most plush. Apparently there's only one 5 Star hotel here and that's full of players and media. Maybe I'll try the Darren Gough trick there as well...

I was planning on making it to the ground and watch net practice but somehow I slept through the sound of beeping traffic for 12 hours. Instead I spent the afternoon wandering around the dusty, choking streets looking for a plug adaptor and toilet paper (I told you the hotel wasn't plush). After more staring, waving, handshakes and 'Welcome to my country' I was worn out.

There are a couple of other England fans in the hotel so we're planning on hitting Faisalabad's night spots - without alcohol, of course. Can't be a late one as the game starts at 9:30 (4:30 for those of you with Sky back home) tomorrow morning, with Michael Vaughan back in charge. It will be tough coming back from one down with only two to play, but we're in with a shout!
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ukdickinson on

Still not sure how you managed the camel trek through the Khyber pass, but you may not want to post those details.

Hope Test 2 goes well.

qazi faisal on

i trveled to faisalabad from dadu sindh i realy injoy the trip of faisalabad it mean faisalbad is very loving place.

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