Dec 30, 2012

Big Bash League

I love cricket. I come from a long line of cricket-lovers and married into a line of cricket tragics.

I had a relative who was part of an Ashes tour in England under the great Sir Donald Bradman, although as the reserve wicket-keeper, he didn't get to play a Test. I had an in-law who umpired Sheffield Shield matches and practically lived for the game.  My Son gained entry to his high school through a specialist cricket program. My Husband played every summer until I got sick of washing his whites. I even worked with a guy who won the Bradman Medal (okay, I admit that's a tenuous connection).

I watch cricket when it's on TV. I've seen every form of the game - from Tests, One-Dayers and Twenty20 to schoolkids, district and local turf cricket - and am equally happy with any of them. Well, mostly. Okay, sometimes I read a book instead. But I cry whenever an Aussie batsman makes a century. I cry when a favourite retires (I may have sobbed for days when Steve Waugh packed away the baggy green, but maybe that's because I wasn't as keen on Ricky Ponting). I cried when South Australia won the Sheffield Shield. I cry when one of the greats passes away (especially Hookesy).

So when someone from the South Australian Cricket Association calls, I listen.

Would I like to come to all of the Adelaide Strikers home games at Adelaide Oval (the most beautiful cricket oval in the world, some say) during the Twenty20 Big Bash League season as a sort of social media ambassador, get media accreditation, access all areas, sit in the air-conditioned press box (now AKA Twitterpit), help myself to food and drinks, wear a Strikers shirt, and tweet about the game, the atmosphere, the crowds, whatever I want??

Hell. Yes.

Actually, wait. It was more of a HELL. YES.

Unfortunately, thanks to a horrible virus which knocked me for six for a couple of weeks, I missed the first home game, but have made the most of my opportunity since then.

Sunday, December 23rd, 42 degrees Celsius
Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Sixers
A win for the Strikers

I thought I was going to faint just on the way to the game thanks to the heat, but stayed conscious by repeating the mantra "air-conditioned press box, air-conditioned press box..."

The crowds are greeted at the gates by these clever stilt-walkers at
every home game. If I felt hot, imagine how much they were sweltering
under their costumes and make-up..... Bravo.
Lots of freebies were given out at the gates, including wigs,
sweatbands and inflatable thunder sticks.  I must add that I
love our team colours, they really stand out in the crowd.

My view from the press box
The Adelaide Strikers warming up before the game. Really, they could
have just stood there, it was still 42 degrees.

By the way, you may notice that more than half of Adelaide Oval is under construction at the moment, severely limiting crowd numbers, but I'm sure once the oval is fully open for business again, the crowds will be at capacity. If you build it, they will come.

Part of the crowd in front of the old heritage-listed scoreboard

As darkness encroached and a cool change swept across the oval (it
dropped down to 39.8 degrees C), the lights took over
It was such a hot night, I kept saying that I didn't really want to eat
anything except maybe some cold, fresh fruit. If you wish it,
it will come.
The Members' hospitality area

Husband asked "Are you going to come up to the Members' Stand to sit with us for a while?"
Me "Air-conditioned press box..."

Kristy and Henry, a couple of my companions in the Twitterpit
Yes, I even watched the game, which we won

Thursday December 27th, a much more pleasant 26 degrees Celsius
Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Stars
A very close loss

I was devastated that one of the biggest drawcards for the Stars, Shane Warne, had chosen to skip the country and be with his fiancee Liz Hurley instead of playing this game. I had all my best Botox and hair transplant jokes ready to tweet. Shattered, I'm telling you.

My shirt and my pass, ready to rocknroll
My view again. I think I even sat in the same chair.
Some of the early action, as the Stars got off to a cracking start
Was great to see lots of bums on seats up in the Members' Stand
The press box, AKA the Twitterpit
Happy tweeter. Two of my tweets appeared on the
 big screen at the oval. Oh, and they gave us
another fruit platter.
Even cranes and construction work look beautiful at Adelaide Oval
under lights and a pink and purple sky
The moon on a, it's just a light tower
The Twitterpit got tense as the game got tight.
Kristy still managed a grin.
Sadly, we had a loss, but the boys were still rocking their
 blue afros on the way home

Kieron 'Polly' Pollard
I could go on and on about all the funny, interesting and exciting things that happened, and that was only out in the carpark, but words won't quite capture the atmosphere. There is something for everyone, of every age, from Smash the dancing mascot, a mechanical bull, fireworks and music, to brilliant, fast-paced cricketing action and some of the biggest hits you'll ever see (especially when the bat is in the hands of Strikers player, Kieron Pollard). A rousing rendition of the great Aussie anthem "More Beer, More Beer, More Beer..." gets the crowd going, and there is nothing quite like looking down at the grassed area when a certain song blasts out of the speakers, to see almost every child in the crowd going Gangnam Style. Hilarious.

And if you haven't seen the two cricketers who were momentarily deafened and almost crapped themselves when fireworks went off near them, check out the video.

As somebody tweeted, "If you can't beat em, kill em with fireworks".

Our next home game is on January 10th against the Perth Scorchers, and I'll be there again, tweeting and cheering. If you're in Adelaide, get there! If you're not in Adelaide but have Foxtel, watch it!
If you're not in Adelaide and don't have Foxtel but have Twitter, follow my tweets! (all with #BBL02 and #strikeforce hashtags)
If you're not in Adelaide and don't have Foxtel and don't have Twitter.... sigh. Poor you.

And if you're American, you have probably not understood a word about this cricket stuff....


Thanks to Jenny from SACA and Michelle, my favourite social media consultant


Sorry Anonymous folk. Too much spam coming in, so you'll have to have a name.


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