IC Singapore Visit to IC India - 21 to 24 February 2014
IC Singapore finally visited IC India from 21 to 24 February 2014. It had been almost fours years since IC India visited Singapore and this trip was motivated by Yogesh Prasad's constant exhortation that "we cannot visit Singapore again until you come to India!".
And so, in the evening of 20 February 2014, a team of two ladies (Chua Li Suan and Lee Pinn May) and seven men (XT Tan, Leslie Lim, Marc Koh, Prem Kumar, Paul Danes, Chris Pak and Paul Wong), climbed on board SQ408 to head for New Delhi in the glory of its winter season.
IC India arranged for the bilateral match to be played at the famous Delhi Gymkhana Club grass courts. Although none of the IC Singapore team thought like Guillermo Vilas ("grass is for cows') but we were going to be like "cows on ice" without the grace nor beauty of Maria. A practice session was arranged on 21 February 2014 before the bilateral on 22 February 2014. More about IC Singapore's prowess (or lack thereof) on grass later. The highlight on 21 February 2014 came about in the evening. President of IC India, Vikas Singh, opened his house to IC Singapore for dinner. Vikas did not warn IC Singapore that his wife was an excellent cook and we were totally astounded by the display of the best of Indian cuisine that evening. Members of IC India who graced the evening included the legendary Jaideep Mukherjee who was one of the "Three Musketeers" of Indian tennis who ruled tennis in Asia in the 1960s.In the formal part of the dinner, Leslie Lim and Lee Pinn May were appointed honorary IC India members whereas Sanjeev Kassal was appointed honorary member of IC Singapore.
The bilateral was played on 22 February 2014. The "cows on ice" description described IC Singapore's hard court warriors' grass prowess well (although it had been used as a description for clay). IC India (led by the affable Sanjeev Kassal) swept all matches played. IC India hosted IC Singapore to dinner at the Delhi Gymkhana Club after the match. Promises of revenge were of course hurled at IC India in the spirit of sportsmanship amidst wishes of "until we meet again in Singapore".
24 February 2014 was not going to be an easy day because the flight back was at 12 midnight. However, the full day meant that IC Singapore could do a "bucket list" item - visit the Taj Mahal. Suffice to say, the Taj Mahal has to be seen to be fully appreciated.
At the dinner after the friendly match
At the beautiful grass courts of Delhi Gymkhana Club
At the Taj Mahal