Friday, January 15, 2010
Spending a day at square leg
Today my dad and I took Marcus, Malachy and Brin to the Test cricket, Australia v Pakistan. I had never seen a Test live, so I was quite excited really. This was day 2 of a (possible) 5 days. At the end of day 1 Australia was cruising so we were hoping to see more of the same, and we did. The chaps who made centuries yesterday went on with it, with Ricky Ponting actually getting to 209.
I was quite pleased with my packing; I put in loads of food and we ate nearly all of it, we ended up briefly wearing the just-in-case jumpers, and all the technology I squeezed in (binoculars, little radio, Marcus's iPod for the not-so-lively bits) came in handy.
At one of the drinks breaks Malachy and Marcus and I had gone around the back of the grandstand to look at the various kiddie attractions they have, such as Wii-style game booths and so on. Since they have banned bringing actual balls and actual bats into the ground, they obviously feel obliged to provide something else to help the whippersnappers pass the time.
While we were gawping a smart looking young official with dynamic hair and a laminate swinging came up and asked if the boys would like to play Milo cricket on the ground in the lunch break. And... meet the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. They both said yes, although I don't think Kev was a big factor.
There was of course a huge amount of indoor faffing to do beforehand, which meant missing about an hour of real grown-up cricket. Kev came in, flanked by Daves; Premier of Tasmania, David Bartlett, and legend of cricket David Boon. He clowned a little in front of a backdrop of kids that looked great this evening on the news. He did a little of that "laughing" thing his people have taught him where he closes his eyes, tilts his head back a little then opens and closes his mouth and nods. While he and the Daves laughed, his slim, tanned people infiltrated the parents, and also smiled, with their mouths only.
The boys then ran out onto the ground and had about 20 minutes in the sunshine, playing a modified kind of backyard everyone-gets-a-turn type cricket. Marcus was a little annoyed that he was not allowed to bowl fast. He also regretted that when he was batting he was stuck at the non-strike end while the smallest bowler came and went. The kid at the other end tonked the little fella for six, three times in a row.
After the resumption we stayed and watched until Australia declared at not many for heaps; then watched our bowlers tear in at the Pakistan openers for half an hour or so. That was enough - tired but happy we wandered out in search of our car.