The 1st XI cricket tour to India was a magical and different experience for all the boys involved.

We arrived in New Delhi eager to experience the different cultures surrounding us. The first thing that struck us was the traffic: it was everywhere. The taxis, commonly known as 'tuck-tucks', seemed intent on causing as much mayhem as possible in the narrow streets of the city. As our tour guide told us, 'there are no lanes in India'.

Introducing ourselves
Making friends

From that eye-opening start, India surprised us at every turn. After practice on arrival the next few days in New Delhi had much in store for us. We lost in the first match (although Finn Mason and James McIntyre were the stand out performers), but then had a thrilling tour of the city, inclduing a visit to the Deepalaya School, a charity school for poor children. To visit a slum in India was very humbling and it was a good experience for us to integrate with some of the local disadvantaged children.

Our performance in our second match was fantastic, and we won solidly. Stanley Walsh and Alex Cole led with the bat with Ted Bracey, Humza Alam and Rob Hall impressing with the ball.

Many trips followed in the remaining days. We visited a fantastic white Sikh temple with a massive community kitchen. We also went to the Old Delhi markets where you simply had no room to move, it was so packed. In addition, we went to the Qutab Minar (an array of monuments and buildings) including the tallest brick minaret in the world. I think we can all agree that the most stunning monument of New Delhi was Huyaman's tomb (the Red Taj Mahal), almost as stunning as the more commonly known one in Agra.

Challoner's is older than the Taj Mahal
A good view

After New Delhi, we left very early in the morning to catch a train to Agra viewing India's pictureseque countryside along the way. In Agra we were simply stunned by the wonder that is the Taj Mahal. We took in its greatness for a few hours before taking a long drive to Jaipur.

Close to the Taj Mahal

In Jaipur the sightseeing was just as magical. Some of us were unfortunately unable to travel due to injury or food poisoning, but most of the team was still walking! We visited the Royal Observatory with many time-seeking devices, and the City Palace in inner Jaipur. We also went to the Amber Fort on the outskirts of Jaipur. The Persian architecture was simply unbelievable, extremely detailed and humongous in size.

Another two excellent performances in Jaipur completed our tour with three wins out of four games. Good performances with the bat were from Stan Walsh, Alex Cole (leading run-scorer), Dom Goodman, Phil Lloyd and Henry Moore. Nouman Aslam was the stand-out bowler of the tour with Tom Line (leading wicket-taker), Ted Bracey, Rob Hall, Will Arnold and Sham Sritharan all contributing. Richard Dean was excellent in the field throughout. A huge thanks to all the teachers and parents and well done to the boys involved.