A robotic hand wave, a tired thumbs up and a mere nod of the head; that's all that around two dozen journalists, who waited for Courtney Walsh at the VIP gate of the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for nearly three hours, got to see yesterday.
Press conferences at the airport aren't always officially arranged and yesterday's certainly wasn't. However, it's common practice for sports journalists to gather at the airport whenever there's a burning issue and hope for a quote or two.
The appointment of Walsh, a bowler who once held the world record with 519 Test wickets; a bowler who used to be a nightmare for any batsmen in the 80s and the 90s, would most definitely fall under the 'burning issue' category as far as sports journalists are concerned.
And so, there they stood from 8 pm onwards. After all Walsh was supposed to land at 8:30pm. 20 minutes on and the news from inside was that the West Indian's flight had been delayed by 30 minutes. That of course, wasn't a problem. It was in fact, an opportunity for some journalist to go grab a quick dinner.
At around 9:15pm, Bangladesh Cricket Board officials, who were there to welcome the West Indian, said that the flight had landed. That was cue for everyone to rush back at the entrance.
The tripods were assembled again and the cameramen had begun taking their 'filler' shots as they call it. And all this took place much to the disappointment of the drivers of the cars who were given just enough space to squeeze through the entrance and receive their guests. “You can get a truck to pass through here,” a journalist quietly chuckled.
Unfortunately, the wait continued. Minutes later, it was revealed that Walsh hadn't received his luggage and that the officials had no clue where it was.
Finally at around 11 pm, the 6 foot 6 inch legend appeared around 30 meters in front of the cameras and acknowledged the media with his gestures for around a minute.
While turning back and heading towards his car, he almost tripped on the luggage that made him wait for so long.
Any sports journalist will tell you that there will be a lot more interaction between Walsh and the media in the coming days and some might even term the three-hour long wait at the airport yesterday as a waste.
However, the fact that journalists from nearly all the media houses were present till the end yesterday, just goes on to show how big a deal this signing has been.