Tag Archives: cricket

Remember when it wasn’t cold all the time?

It’s winter at the moment. It is raining and it is cold. Seems like as good a time as any to recall the joys of summer.

My first Australian summer saw me living in the country and hanging out with livestock. As fun as that was, the next time summer came around, I was keen to see and do everything that Melbourne has to offer at the start of the year.*

I then remembered that I am really lazy, and so “everything” quickly turned into “a few fun things when it’s not too hot”. Here are some of those things.

Moonlight Cinema

This is an outdoor cinema in the Botanic Gardens and runs on nights throughout the summer, except when it rains. A pretty familiar set up you might think, as indeed I did when we went along to see The Theory of Everything. But no, this is Australia and so the girl next to us brought her pet snake with her. Not cool.

Cricket

After England’s disappointing performance in the tri-series and abysmal performance in the World Cup, I think it’s best that I focus on the Big Bash League here. As mentioned previously, we support the Melbourne Renegades. We went to all but one of the home games, decked out in our red t-shirts, sometimes with a small child, always with snacks. Our team didn’t do particularly well – we decided their motto when batting is “Everyone gets a turn” – but it was always good fun to watch and we’ll be back next year.

Zoo Twilight

A picnic and concert at the zoo, with lions roaring in the background. What’s not to love?

Water fights

I’m lucky enough to have a really mature fiancée who does things like coming back from the supermarket with two big water guns. The joy of a Melbourne summer is that it’s actually hot enough for a water fight to be refreshing, rather than something that leaves you shivering and grumpy.

The dog beach

The fun thing about beagles is that if you let them off the lead, they will pick up a scent and run and run until they are dots on the horizon and you are a sweaty mess trying to catch up. A fenced dog beach is, therefore, a magical thing for a beagle owner like myself. They get to run around and you get to enjoy the beach – everyone’s a winner.**

The Australian Open

So, I didn’t actually go to the tennis this year either… but I saw a bit of it on the TV. Did I mention that I’m really lazy?

* Which, dear international readers, is when summer takes place in Australia. Madness, I know.
** Except for the jellyfish Jasper rolled around on. Because it is dead.

In which the human lizard embraces Australian sport

It came as no surprise to me to find that Australians love sport. What came as rather more of a surprise was quite how fully I have embraced their sports since moving here. The following is a summary of the teams that I now barrack for.

Go Cats!Geelong Cats – AFL (Australian rules football)
In Melbourne, if you’re asked which footy team you support and you are foolish enough to answer, “I don’t really have a team”, the person you are talking to, whether man, woman, small child, old granny or human lizard, will give you a lengthy speech about the merits of their team. The popularity of AFL varies around Australia but here in Melbourne, it is MASSIVE.

I chose Cats while at a sports bar watching the British and Irish Lions beat the Australians in the rugby last year. At the same time, another screen was showing Geelong beating Hawthorn and so the Australian in our party convinced me to become a supporter. I jumped on board and was quickly singing the Cats’ song, despite knowing neither the words, nor the tune. It must have sounded amazing.

Melbourne Storm – NRL (rugby league)
People round here don’t really care about rugby – I’m told it’s much bigger in Queensland and New South Wales. Nevertheless, I have pinned my colours (purple and gold) to the mast and perhaps we will get along to a game one of these days.

Melbourne RenegadesMelbourne Renegades – Big Bash League (Twenty20 cricket)
Regional work kept me away from the Big Bash games last summer, though I caught a few on TV. It’s a bright, brash and neatly marketed T20 league and it’s great fun to watch. Unfortunately we picked Renegades before realising that they were the crapper of the two Melbourne teams, finishing second from bottom in the competition last season. However, the recent signing of Kevin Pieterson to the Melbourne Stars has somewhat validated our choice.*

Auckland Blues – Super 15 (rugby union)
Super Rugby is a rugby union competition played by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. That’s really all I know about it but Kiwi Girlfriend has told me that I support the Blues.

Greensborough 5 – Northern Netball League (netball)Greensborough Netball Club logo
Netball is really big here – the league I play in, which is just for Melbourne’s northern suburbs, has eight divisions. Eight! I joined Greensborough Netball Club after the season had started and was placed in team 5, which competes in division seven. While that sounds incredibly unimpressive, it’s a good team and we made it through to finals. And, more importantly, I have a training top WITH MY NAME ON THE BACK.

* In case you don’t follow cricket, Pieterson used to play for England but he has always been a bit of a prick. He was fired from the England team for…  well… being a bit of a prick.