For all our American readers out there, please read on even though you may not at all think you are interested in the game of cricket. I have been fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by cricket, in England of course cricket is one of the leading sports along with Football and Rugby. So when we decided to go to Australia for our ‘late’ honeymoon in December 2012, I immediately began thinking about the possibilities of viewing a cricket match ‘Down Under’.
Let’s start with a quick “Cricket for Dummies” breakdown of what this game is all about:
- The three main formats are Test Match, One Day International and Twenty20.
- Each is slightly different but essentially the rules are the same, the team with the most runs wins.
- Twenty20 is the most recent version to be created because cricket has always been globally known as a boring sport. The implementation of Twenty20 was done to liven up the game and make it a more interesting spectacle.
- Each team takes its turn to bat in each form of cricket (idea is to score as many runs as possible). The opposition bowls at attempts to get the batting team ‘All Out’ which is equivalent to getting ’10 Outs’.
- The Twenty20 version sees each team receive 20 overs (each over is 6 balls) to score as many runs as possible.
- The teams swap over at the interval and whoever scores the most wins….simple as that really!
I tried to explain the above to Heather after we purchased tickets to The Gabba in Brisbane to watch the Brisbane Heat play the Melbourne Stars in the KFC Big Bash League but I am not sure she was totally convinced that she knew the rules! This is a perfect scenario as I am a frequent visitor to cricket matches and this was Heather’s first, so you can imagine how interesting the conversations were about this.
Here is a quote from my mum which again my deter folks from understanding how anyone can love cricket:
Watching cricket is just like watching paint dry….the grass on the field grows quicker than a cricket match is played.
There may be some truth to the above statement when you are referring to test matches but this form of cricket has its own intricacies which I won’t get into right now.
The Gabba is a really impressive stadium. Our seats were perfect, we were located on the very front row in the Facebook fan section! Yes, we even received a free Brisbane Heat t-shirt and headband which was a nice incentive.
The stadium was far from full but the atmosphere was fun and entertaining prior to the match starting. The Brisbane Heat elected to bat first and were soon in the ascendancy as their captain, James Hopes, lead from the front with an entertaining 49, falling just short of what would have been a well-deserved half century.
Decent contributions from the rest of the team saw the Heat rack up a sizeable 171-5 (this refers to 171 runs for the loss of 5 wickets/outs). The Stars were left indebted to their Sri Lankan star, Lasith “Slinga” Malinga who was a thorn in the Heat side and picked up 3 wickets for only 26 runs conceded.
The Stars began their run chase after an eventful interval that saw the Brisbane mascots entertain the crowd. “Heater” as the mascot is famously known around Brisbane certainly lived up to his reputation of being a crowd pleaser.
The Stars batting lineup on paper was much more impressive than Brisbane’s, with England’s Luke Wright and Australian stars Brad Hodge and David Hussey starring in their middle order. Tight bowling though again from Hopes and the Heat’s own international star, Kemar Roach, kept the Stars restricted and they fell well short of their target with a total of 147-9.
The match was very entertaining and I have to admit that venturing to a cricket match in Australia is different to those in England. The Aussies are much more entertainment friendly whereas I think the English are a little more reserved whenever it comes to cricket encounters.
I would definitely suggest that everyone visit a cricket match at least once in your lifetime. If you are from a country where cricket is not a common sport, give it a try! You never know, you may be pleasantly surprised that you enjoy this sport.