My Technology: Never again, darling

Nasser Hussain forgot his wife's birthday recently. He won't next year
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The Independent Culture
Since I have been out in South Africa, I have had my own personal homepage. This is a service just launched by Vodafone, which is our team's main sponsor and has helped me set it up.

The idea is that you can put whatever you want on the homepage and this interacts with your mobile phone. I have silly things like cricket updates from the Australian and Pakistan series. And I use it to find out how the England team is doing in New Zealand. I am not just a cricket dweeb, however. I also get Leeds United scores and news on the golf.

It's not just a homepage on the Internet. All this information can be sent from the homepage to my mobile phone. This is important because I am very rarely in my hotel room to get access to my computer. I am either on a coach, flight or in practice. For example, when I am out on the field, I can get the weather report sent to my phone. As the captain, the weather in South Africa is important, especially if we win the toss.

I have set the phone to ring me once a day. I tell it that I come off the field at around 4 o'clock and it will tell me whether I have e-mail. This year the mobile phone connection to my e-mail is of special importance because it's my testimonial year - 10 years as a county professional - and I am getting e-mails from my benefit chairman.

I also get a few e-mails from my wife. And I try to get some of the week's newspaper reports sent to the homepage. I am only using the homepage for these basic things while I am here in South Africa, but I will probably add things to it later.

I have just begun to use it as a reminder service because I forgot my wife's birthday the other day, which left me in a lot of trouble. So now the service bleeps my phone and flashes up "remember to send a birthday card" etc.

The homepage services are quite new and the other boys are quite jealous. As a load of lads away together there is an element of always trying to out do each other. And we all like gadgets. There's competition over who has got the latest technology, or over whose phone is the most compact. All the boys are on the Internet, and frequently browsing.

Using the Internet or our mobile phones can be quite time consuming and we try to keep it to a minimum. If a phone rings during any cricket activity there's a pounds 20 fine.

A lot of boys out here have DVD players, which seems to be the latest craze. On previous tours some of lads have had laptops for using the Net. However, I have only really got into that this winter.

A real cross section of the team use the Internet, some of them to write for the papers, and some of the senior people who have extra activities use the Internet to keep in contact with their businesses while they are away.

We don't use a lot of high technology in training. But the personal trainer will calculate various statistics, such as weight and body fat on the computer, and send us a report.

Interview by Jennifer Rodger

For information on Vodafone's interactive e-mail, visit www.vodafone- retail.co.uk

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