'There was the fear of the unknown'

'There was the fear of the unknown'

'There was the fear of the unknown'

Her husband has quite a challenging job in his hands right now — of coaching the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Alison Jennings, wife of RCB coach Ray Jennings, is as involved in the game as her husband is. One with the spectators and wearing the team jersey, she watches every ball being bowled and her eyes doesn’t leave the field even for a moment.

Having come to India many times with her husband, during the Indian Premier League seasons, Alison says that she is  comfortable in the City now more than ever. “During my first visit to India, there was the fear of the unknown. You didn’t know what to expect and at the same time, there was the excitement of exploring a new place. But now, I am a lot more comfortable and from what I see, even people here have begun accepting us, foreigners, more and are treating us like their own,” Alison says.

Being the wife of the coach does come with its share of responsibilities. Alison makes it very clear that she is in India for only one reason and that is to support her husband. “People may think that it’s just a free trip for the family of cricketers. It is never so. These guys really work hard on and off the field and it’s our responsibility to be here for them and support them. That’s why I never head out of the hotel if my husband is busy with the team. I always wait till he is free to come with me,” she explains.

Though she was not much of a cricket enthusiast before she got married, Alison says that back home, all she does is eat, breathe and live cricket. “You can’t help it when your husband is the coach and your son is playing the sport as well. Cricket is all that is spoken about,” she laughs and adds, “Ray is watching cricket all the time.
That’s part of his job. When the league is not on, he is watching different games and spotting new talent for the team. More than anything, he is constantly building his knowledge on the game.”

So it’s not surprising to know that the game has rubbed off on her. While the RCB had a good start in the tournament, Alison says that they still have a long way to go. “The team had the best start in all the seasons but then, the IPL is a marathon,  not a sprint — they have to keep the tempo,” she states.

The best part is watching the game with public, says Alison. “It’s always more fun to sit with the public and cheer the team. You really get to feel the energy of the game,” she sums up.

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