India-born former England skipper Nasser Hussain has admitted that he was flooded with emotions on returning to his birth-city Chennai, where he spent six years of his life before moving to London. Hussain has also lauded the kind acts of the Tamil Nadu people in the aftermath of cyclone Vardah.
"I'm very pleased to be back in the place of my birth. I think I was born in a hospital just over the other side of the stadium. Actually, I didn't realise that. It was Ashwin who told me about that the other day when I saw him," Hussain told the Times of India on Friday.
Hussain expressed his sadness after watching the devastating effect of cyclone Vardah, which hit the state a week ago.
"It's obviously been difficult to see the devastating damage from the cyclone over the last couple of days. But the community spirit from the people of Chennai, the way they have been trying to clear up the trees on the road has been absolutely magnificent," said Hussain.
Hussain, in his capacity as a commentator for Star Sports, is in the city for five days and wants to soak in the atmosphere during his stay. An honorary member of the Madras Cricket Club (MCC), Hussain reminisced about the time when his father ‘Joe’ used to come and drink in the club bar.
Hussain said, "I'm busy with work. I fly out the night after the game. I have not really planned to go out anywhere. It's a shame that I have not got more time to go around and visit places in Chennai. But I will pop over to the MCC, sit down and remember when my dad used to be there having a drink in the bar and enjoying himself. I will say a hello to the few people there,"
Hussain further added, "My father played here. I came here during one English winter and played a bit of cricket on this ground. I was young, probably 18 and I wanted to get used to playing in spinning conditions."
Akbar Ebrahim, who was elected as the President of the Federation of Motor Sports Club of India earlier this week, threw further light towards Hussain’s Chennai connection and said, "Hussain's father worked in our manufacturing unit before he left for the UK. He was the works manager-cum-executive director of one our factories. We still share a very good relationship. I will probably meet him at the MCC.”
Ebrahim recollected the days when Hussain scored two centuries for Madras Cricket Club.
"I think he played for about two seasons and stayed in my place. He would invariably be in front of the mirror adjusting his curly hair and the dressing room would be filled with jokes about it. He scored a couple of hundreds here and worked extremely hard to improve his game against spin," recollected Ebrahim.