The journey from Christchurch to Hamilton was not as smooth for this reporter as it was for the Bangladesh team, who reached the central town of New Zealand's northern island yesterday afternoon to take part in the first of three Tests against the hosts starting from February 28 at Seddon Park.
The first bad news came at the airport in Christchurch, located on the east coast of the southern island of the country. The flight for Auckland was delayed by an hour from the scheduled flying time of 5:00pm.
This was alarming indeed as we had to take the last bus from Auckland to Hamilton scheduled to leave the airport terminal at 7:35pm and there was a very slim chance of making it on time to embark on the two-hour journey.
Eventually, the flight took off at 6:15pm and the first thing the reporter did was request the flight crew to allow him to rush towards the bus terminal as soon as the aircraft landed in Auckland.
Thankfully, the aircraft crew took the matter seriously after realising the situation and allowed a humble scribe the privilege to rush straight from the aircraft to the bus terminal as an emergency case.
With four other journalists from Bangladesh also on the same flight waiting for their baggage to arrive at the belt, this reporter had to hustled to the bus and requested the driver to wait for a party of four more travelling journalists.
Timetables are serious business to these folks, and it was no surprise that the driver did not take too kindly to the unusual request, angrily proclaiming his unwillingness to tarry for more than five minutes.
He probably had not had much experience with the overtures of a desperate Bangladeshi, and after the intricacies of the situation and the dangers missing the last bus posed for deadline-crazed journos were explained, the bus driver grudgingly agreed to wait for more than 15 minutes, by which time the rest of the party thankfully arrived.
After an hour-and-50-minute journey, it was a huge relief when we alighted in Hamilton at 9:50pm -- the hassle of staying an extra night in Auckland and booking another ticket today would have been a terrible and costly one, especially with the Bangladesh team already in Hamilton.
Once the destination was safely reached, it was of more interest to visit the Novotel Hotel, where the Bangladesh team are staying, before checking into our own hotel. But as there was no scheduled media activity yesterday, it was an empty-handed return to the hotel but a grateful one after an exhausting day.
Talking about stress relief, the Tigers decided to take a day off today for the first time on their New Zealand tour. To utilise the leisure day properly, a few of the players were planning to watch movies while others may go for an adventurous day out in Hamilton to recharge batteries ahead of the first Test.