’11 OZ PHOTO SERIES PT9
SYDNEY CRICKET GROUND
WINNING THE ASHES DOWN UNDER
Outside of football there are only a few major sporting events I make the effort of watching; Tennis Majors, Golf Majors, Rugby and The Ashes. Surprisingly watching England winning the ashes down under was one of the best sporting events I have ever experienced. When it comes to entertainment, cricket doesn’t get the best rep and probably rightly so at times.
SEEING THIS IN OZ IS RARE BUT SEEING ENGLAND WIN IT HERE IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY
Series’ are usually made up of 5 separate matches (tests) each lasting up to a maximum of 5 days. However, with the ashes the atmosphere is completely different. It would remind you more of football derby between two sets of rival fans. Added to this the fact we were in Australia and surrounded by die hard England fans, The Barmy Army.
WHERE IS THE SCG?
Sydney Cricket Ground
THE BARMY ARMY
Cricket is only a small part of what goes on at the ground. The Barmy Army are famous for producing some of the most humorous chants, songs and sledging around. If its your first time then there’s a good chance you’ll spend a good part of it laughing at the hilarious insults going on around you.
With any major sporting event comes alcohol, but there aren’t many, and I include football in this that competes with the ashes when it comes to alcohol consumption. Lasting the full day there is little else you can do but drink and eat which suits everyone as there is not always something of note happening on the field.
I usually find with football the atmosphere can be great but the 90minutes can go so quick, yes its intense and happens more often than every 2 years but with the ashes you have all day (or 5) to make the most of the occasion.
Kai sleeping as usual
We were in Sydney during the final test and thought why not make a day out of it. We were drinking solidly everyday anyway so lets go to a once in a lifetime event (and hope England win). It didn’t take us long to source some tickets online and met up with the tout to buy them. We tried to make sure the seats were as good as possible but in reality we had no idea.
It was myself, Ben, Kai and Will & his buddy. Kai didn’t last long and fell asleep in no time but that’s normal. Arriving at the Sydney Cricket Ground you get a sense of how big this place is, its huge, Aussies really take their cricket seriously. We couldn’t believe our tickets either. For a group of guys who had never been to a cricket match before we were right in the middle of the Barmy Army and new we were in for a treat
If you are thinking about going to the ashes but afraid you don’t like the game, don’t let that put you off. Being in with the Barmy Army you probably wont watch much of it and instead chant and sing for the entire game.
SINGING & SLEDGING
The Barmy Army is so important to the cricket team that they get their travel subsidised for the away fixtures. It’s not like a football match where it might be restricted to the country or just Europe. As competitive cricket isn’t as popular as the likes of football the teams are required to travel further for the matches.
Sledging is really just light-hearted verbals to the opposition. People are careful not the cross the line like you would see in a football stadium as generally speaking it’s a family day out.
It was the fourth day of the test and ended drastically for Australia who had all but lost at this stage but as the day had come to a close it would be completed on the 5th and final day. This suited me down to the ground as it meant we would be getting another day out of it and it was announced over the tanny that entry would be free as it was only set to last a few hours.
Today we rounded up the other troops and made a beeline for the SCG early to get similar seats. The day was fantastic and as predicted England went on to win early in the day. After a lap of honour and plenty more singing we had the rest of the day to kill but as did the Barmy Army and the celebrations continued into the city.
I have not been won over by a sporting event more in my life than I was during those two days. We were all given a proper education on how to; drink, sing and laugh! It was clear from everyone’s energy that watching the ashes series in Australia is pretty rare but watching England win the ashes here is something you’re lucky to see once in a lifetime. I was just lucky I was in the right place at the right time but having been won over this won’t be my last ashes match!
Arriving into Melbourne and sneaking into the Melbourne Open Tennis Final! Click to read!
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Do you like watching sports while you travel?
- What is the best sporting event you have attended?
Let me know in the comments below . . .