Sammy-Jo Johnson on a buggy in Dubai this week.
Sammy-Jo Johnson on a buggy in Dubai this week.

Cricketers grounded in Dubai

WHAT do you do when you’re stuck in the desert for a week?

Well, apparently, you have plenty of fun if 17-year-old Adam Gilchrist Cricket Development Scholarship holder Sammy-Jo Johnson is any guide.

En route to England for the cricketing summer, the Lismore girl was grounded in Dubai for a week after Iceland’s’ volcano spread its ash over Europe.

The NSW under-19 representative has hardly wasted a minute in the Emirates, passing the time riding camels, sand boarding, go-karting, dune buggying, skiing and safari touring.

But none of those compare with the highlight of the enforced holiday – a phone call from Australian sporting legend, Adam Gilchrist.

“I nearly dropped the phone,” Johnson said of the gesture.

“I couldn’t believe it was him to begin with; I couldn’t stop smiling. Adam was checking to see how we were and what we have been doing which was really good of him considering he is in India for the IPL at the moment.”

Meanwhile, fellow scholarship holder Ryan Howard has made it out of Dubai and into his new home.

But not without further complications.

“Yesterday, we got woken up at 3am and told we had five minutes to pack our bags and get to the airport,” Howard said.

“We waited in line for ages and then they said over the loudspeaker that all flights to the UK were full.

“We were so over Dubai that we asked them to send us anywhere that was closer to Heathrow, then all of a sudden we were told three seats to Heathrow had come up.”

The 18-year-old, who played every match for Southern Districts in the Hooker League this past season, is now settling into Harrow about 20km North-West of England.



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