Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Barbecue: The South African Way

It is not quite often that you find South African cricketers revelling off the field in a way that would make both the players’ and spectators’ mouth water.

Instead of using a willow, for a change, the SA cricket team, led by their skipper, Graeme Smith, was found using a frying pan. Frying pan? Well, the ebullient team had a fun-and-frolic evening in Chennai recently; they are here in the subcontinent to play a Test serious against India.

As the sun was setting, the team was in full gear — to try and test the traditional South African ‘bring and braai’ (loosely translated: barbecue). The Proteas, as they are fondly called, were in their element: fun and laughter, typical of the country they so proudly represent. They were also seen dancing to the South African beats.

Hosted by South African Tourism to launch their campaign ‘Chalo South Africa, This Summer’, the evening sure had its affectionate moments. Apart from the entire team that was present, seen having a good fill at the braai were SA High Commissioner Francis Moloi, wife in tow, who had flown in from New Delhi just to be with the boys in green, Consul General Busi Kuzwayo and Medha Sampat, country head, SA Tourism.

As if the action with the Proteas was not enough, a surprise entry by former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly added boost to the evening. Ganguli chatted up with Smith and his boys — and he even tried out the delicacies in store.

Well, Smith presented Moloi with a cricket bat personally signed by all his boys. And what followed was something as expected: the SA boys doled out the delicacies they painstakingly grilled to the guests. Traditional SA marinades and sauces were flowing thick, and towards the end of the evening, apart from licking their fingers, the guests could be seen dancing to the African beats.

A taste of Africa, did I hear?

— Sunil K Poolani

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