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Excitement builds as Scots touch down for Delhi Games

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John Beattie | 18:26 UK time, Sunday, 26 September 2010

Will India be ready in time? Those pictures you saw on the internet early this week, so I hear, were of the Scottish team's lodgings in the Games village and the mess was what you guessed it might be.

The Scots promptly moved into the Indian building.

Can Delhi deliver on a Commonwealth Games for which many locals here feel little empathy?

I hope so, and much of that is because it is we Scots, and my hometown of Glasgow, hosting the next Games and the "brand" needs to be kept alive.

Simple as that. It is important for Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales as it gives our athletes a chance to win for their country and not "Team GB".

There is nowhere else they can do it.

Anyway, it was a crammed flight to Delhi, but a beautiful sunrise as we approached India early this Sunday morning.

Oh seat 37A, how pleased I am to see the back of you!

Big blood-filled mosquitoes made a delightful mess when we clapped them between our hands on our bus to the hotel and that was after efficiency-personified greeted us at the airport.

The trip into town was interesting: we were close to killing many people, transport police are every 100 yards, and the "Games only" lanes mean nothing to the local population who swarm them in bikes, "Tuk-Tuks", and on foot.

Many head the wrong way up the roads towards you.

People are asleep on pavements, families live under tarpaulins, men carry wives on the back on tiny motorcycles and we are looking to start a Commonwealth Games.

The Scottish flag is up in the International Broadcast Centre, our kit is working and we are ready; it seems surreal.

I read that a group of indigenous people called the "Jaks" are going to stage a guerrilla protest by smuggling in buffalo to access roads and perhaps even stadia.

This will be a magnificent sight and surely the first recorded buffalo warfare, never mind the gorilla stuff. Not my line, by the way...

Sadly, Elena Baltacha has pulled out to weaken Team Scotland, but as I write this the next tranche of athletes from around the world are jetting in.

Stories still circulate about logistics problems, some of the stadia still appear to need finishing and I met and interesting guide who seemed more interested in telling me about his career as a call centre employee than talking about the Games.

To all the athletes: I hope you have a fantastic time. It's hot here, but it's dry now and I so hope we witness a great Games.

But can India deliver?


  • Comment number 1.

    Like the rest of the BBC hypocritical creepy hangers on who end up discussing / debating sports they know nothing about. Not unlike you and the rumbled "double act" Douglas and Inverdale. I won't be following your blag! Your politically correct opinion on sport is like un-apposed scrums. Pointless !

  • Comment number 2.


    Give it up mate....she's not coming back.

  • Comment number 3.

    "This will be a magnificent sight and surely the first recorded buffalo warfare, never mind the gorilla stuff."

    The correct joke here must contain the phrase buffalo soldiers.

  • Comment number 4.

    Surely something about not being able to wash your face in a buffalo?

  • Comment number 5.


    are you David Miliband?

  • Comment number 6.

    #1: Chalmersredcard:
    I truly hope it gets better for you, man! What with the recession, your girlfriend/wife splitting, your dog dying and your team spluttering, I can appreciate that there's not much to smile about. But, give it a shot!

    John B:
    Good to hear a first hand report. It doesn't sound all that appetizing. What this state of disrepair does, at least for me, is temper the bellicose media hysteria about India being the next great economic miracle. When, in truth, their economy is without doubt on the rise, the vast majority of its population has their feet firmly planted in the third world.

    No doubt you were pleased with the win in Edinburgh on Friday. Nice to see D. Blair have a good game.

  • Comment number 7. can have your opinion

    Am away to write another blog.....


  • Comment number 8.

    " ... it gives our athletes a chance to win for their country and not "Team GB". "

    So if Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England are countries, what's GB? Would you care to cast your vote for the SNP now, John, before you slip in more nationalist nonsense?

    "I hope so, and much of that is because it is we Scots, and my hometown of Glasgow, hosting the next Games and the "brand" needs to be kept alive."

    Surely, the question should be 'does the Commonwealth Games need to be kept alive?'. In the interests of the BBC's famous journalistic balance, should that not be asked? Then again, the BBC's role in cheerleading this pointless and irrelevant event is well-known as we saw in their lack of scrutiny of the Glasgow 2014 and the waste of money it now looks to have bid for a "brand" which is irreversibly tarnished.

  • Comment number 9.

    Peter_Keating 72. I am not casting my vote for anybody here. As a bloke who played for Scotland I can see the attraction for pulling on a blue jersey and sport is layered. There is a top layer, and layers underneath, and almost every day I try to think of the meaning of it all.

    You ask a good question, should the Commonwealth games be kept going. Let me go away and think hard. You might also ask why we compete internationally at sport. JB

  • Comment number 10.

    @Peter_Keating72 RE 'does the Commonwealth Games need to be kept alive?'.

    Sure, the CWG harks back to the past, that's why it's called "The "Commonwealth" games! It is that connection to the past that is it's strength;
    1) International sport does generate entente cordial between the competing countries. That's always good news.
    2) It gives emerging nations within that Commonwealth valuable direct exposure to athletes of Olympic class.
    3)It gives the host country the opportunity of similar positive exposure, ie: the chance to confirm arrival as a player on the world stage.
    So, is the CWG relevant? I'd say, If you're a developing country, Hell yes! If your a G7 country, well, you may not feel it's adequate competition right now, but it pays to know who's up & coming, right?


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