Day 181: I Don’t Like Cricket

Sun. 10th February 2013

And actionToday we have tickets at “The G” to see Australia v West Indies in a 50 over cricket match. One of us is excited (though not optimistic about the Windies’ chances)! However Myf and I are more interested in seeing the Aussie army.

St Kilda pier - just like the UKAs the game does not start until 2:20pm, we decide to head out to St Kilda first for a late breakfast.The tram gets us almost there but the main road is shut off for the St Kilda  festival which has been on all week. We walk the last part 0f the way to the water front. It is not sea front as technically it is still on the river, but everyone calls it the beach as it is sandy.

On the way we watch classes in Zumba and Bokwa (exercising making the shape of letters – apparently the latest craze??)  being carried out close to the beach area but were not tempted to join in. Further along the beach was a ladies beach volleyball match which distracted Dave for a while.

Luna (Looney) ParkLuna Park is a permanent funfair in St Kilda complete with tacky sign and we resisted any temptation to go on the rides. For the festival five temporary stages for bands to play on have been erected but unfortunately the music was not until the afternoon (maybe fortunately as we could have been tempted to laze there all day with a bevvy or two).

Baby penguin peeping outWe walked along the pier in the blustery wind. At the end there is what looks like a pile of bare rocks, but on closer inspection we saw baby penguins sheltering from the wind. We had just managed to catch the end of breeding season and a few young still remained. We would have missed them had they not been pointed out to us.

Masts and Melbourne skylineThe pier, cloudy sky and the wind would not have been out of place on the south coast of England (OK not in February!). By lunchtime the clouds had been burnt off and the sun came out, strong as ever. Melbourne has quite a compact centre and so we caught the tram back to the city centre and walked to the cricket ground. The stadium is close to the tennis courts where the Australian Open was held just before we arrived (bad timing on our part). This area was the site of the 1956 Olympic Games and we arrive early at the cricket ground and spend time looking at the statues and commemorative wall.

Continuing the Olympic themeAs we took or seats we watched the teams warmed up with a casual football knock about – shame it would soon be cricket. West Indies won the toss and were soon ready around the field with the Aussies batting first. The opening batsman was out first ball but I missed it as the guys in front were still finding their seats. Not a good start as the action in cricket is few and far between and the game needs all the excitement it can get.

Crazy costumesI never did understand the fascination with cricket, and still don’t because quite often most of the action is off the pitch and the crowd does not appear to be taking any notice of the game. The costumes of the crowd were great there were two groups dressed as the Jamaican bobsleigh team in “Cool Runnings” complete with makeshift bobsleighs. There was also the usual green and yellow wigs and various characters such as spiderman (an excellent dancer), three bananas in pyjamas, Sonic the hedgehog, a panda, etc.

Lillee and HornseyWe had great seats side on to the wicket at the members end and just under cover (in case it rained which it did not) and kept the sun off us until later in the afternoon. By 6pm and the change in innings Myf and I took our leave as there is only so much one can take – a good experience but I am not converted!!!!

I will leave Dave to enter his thoughts as he stayed for the second innings – it was not scheduled to finish until after 10pm.

It was a great experience to get to “The G” – a cricket stadium with a capacity of around 90,000 and the scene of the famous Boxing Day Tests and Ashes matches. Well this match didn’t really live up to those high high standards. The Aussies had were already 4-0 up in the 5 match series and had sent some of their best players off to India to prepare for the tour there. As for the Windies, well to sum it up, one of their opening batsmen hasn’t scored a century in any form of cricket before today.

There is a much used saying in sport – “coulda, woulda, shoulda” – and that applied here. The Windies put the Aussies in to bat, got a wicket with the first ball and then another in the third over, kept the Aussies down to 110 runs at the 30 over mark and then let them score 270. The Windies innings was pretty much a farce – 2 or 3 dolly catches dropped by the Aussies and then the Windies threw away a match winning position. There are Ashes series in both England and Australia this year – the Aussies will not find the England (and Wales) team anything like as generous as the Windies were.

This entry was posted in Australia, RTW Trip and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *