Here’s a photo of me (assisted by curry and Kingfisher) on Feroz Shah Kotla which is the current test cricket venue in New Delhi. For those of you that might be thinking you didn’t know I was good at cricket, it’s because I’m not. Notwithstanding my ability, after a rigorous selection process (i.e. payment of a deposit), I was a member of the Australian Lawyers’ Cricket Council team which participated in the 4th Lawyers’ World Cup of Cricket in India from 11-22 October 2013. Australia actually had two teams in the competition and my contribution (to the B team) was to score 2 runs (in 3 matches played), only one of which was off the bat.
The other participants in the tournament included two teams from Sri Lanka and one each from the English Bar, the West Indies, India and Pakistan. It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that the teams with local knowledge dominated the competition. Pakistan defeated India in the final. The final incidentally was televised live on one of India’s two 24/7 cricket channels. One of the round robin matches involving Australia’s A team was also recorded for broadcast. Everyone knows that India is cricket mad, but I am genuinely unsure why anyone (apart from curious passers by….and there were a few of them) would want to watch “lawyer cricket”.
Apart from cricket, there was a day trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal and also some sightseeing in and around Delhi itself. I was also able, with the assistance of a local advocate, to visit the Indian Supreme Court (their highest court) on what we would call a “special leave day”. There appeared to be hundreds of matters spread over about 20 courts (each with 2 judges sitting). The judges are surrounded by large piles of files and as each matter is dealt with, the file is literally tossed from their book rests onto the table below where the court officers retrieve them. There were also hundreds (possibly thousands) of advocates jostling for position, both in the courts themselves and on the open verandahs of the grand colonial court complex. It felt as if the whole court complex was jammed with black robes (no wigs) and a variety of suits (including white ones), turbans and footwear (including what were effectively “thongs”). There is no such thing as a busy list in Sydney!