Thursday, 31 January 2013

20/20 International Cricket

Under no circumstance can I be classified as a cricket fan.  For that matter, I don't really watch or participate in any sport but I do like an event.   Lucky son and I were shouted by my Bestie to the cricket at the MCG on Monday night for a 20/20 match between Australia and Sri Lanka.   For those not in the know, the difference between 20/20 and normal cricket is that the later is boring (men standing around in a big field waiting for something to happen all day or sometimes several) and the former a fast paced game between two sides with 20 overs each with the objective of getting the most runs.  This is achieved by getting as many 6's and 4's (boundary shots) as you can and is more like a "smash and bash" than a genteel game of cricket.  There is a constant stream of loud pumping music (similar to an NBA game) and on this occasion pyrotechnics (burst of fire) shooting up out of the ground when something happens (a 6 or and Out).  There was the obligatory "Mexican wave" , a comp for "dress ups" with a $10,000 prize and shots of people coerced into kissing for a shot on the big screen.  American baseball anyone?.  

I truly didn't recognise any player on the field but it didn't matter.  Firstly it was at the MCG - The Melbourne Cricket Ground.  This is a revered and hallowed sport ground with historical significance to both cricket, football (AFL) and various little events like the 1956 Olympics and the more recent Commonwealth Games.  It has a special atmosphere that comes with being part of 100,000 crowd of people and probably equal number of seagulls.  There is The Members Stand with their own club rooms with bar, restaurant etc.  It takes about 20 years on a waiting list to be eligible for membership and you have to be nominated and passed by the other members and of course be somebody who knows somebody or the be the child of somebody.  Well this "nobody" gets to sit in the general area and that's OK by me.   On a good day its really exciting and has that great atmosphere you get with lots of people barracking passionately, fuelled up on soft drinks, beer, meat pies, hot chips, sweets that all cost five times the normal price.  It sounds like a roar of a jet engine.  Normal behaviour goes out the window and even quiet meek and mild people like me (LOL) find themselves yelling out anything that comes to mind or was said by the guy next door who knows more that the umpires and somehow ends up your best mate by the end of the match. 

I must say, that i think the Sri Lankan supporters added a very special element to this occasion.  Somehow, they were all wearing the same blue Sri Lankan cricket shirt. Do they all know each other and co-ordinate outfits by text before the match? This certainly made them stand out and of course at one point i was beginning to think we would be outnumbered. They also sat in the one area and brought their very special brand of barracking.  Flags were everywhere, musical instruments including drums and trumpets and trombones.  It was so much fun to watch and of course stirred the latent patriotism of all the Aussie team's supporters trying to outdo them.   

Despite a delay caused by rain mid evening it ended up being a great night or should i say a early morning.  Although to my untrained eye the Sri Lankan team were better skilled than the young Aussie team, the end result was that we needed a 6 to win on the last ball.  High tension and everyone on their feet screaming.  Sri Lanka won but everyone was happy.  A great family outing enjoyed by all.  We caught a train home in the wee hours from the city to the outer burbs and naturally i was the only one in the group that had to be up early for work.   Thanks go to my Bestie for her generosity. 

Memories Are Made of This

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