The Stereotypical Ashes Cricket Fan

 Image:  @eskyaustralia
 

Aussies just love cricket. Especially the Ashes.

Whether you’re sitting in the humidity at the GABBA, under lights at the Adelaide Oval, sweltering at the WACA, embracing the tradition of the Boxing Day Test at “The G” or donating your money to a worthy cause at the SCG Pink Test, an Ashes summer is something that most Aussies can relate to.  

Having recently spent a few days at the last ever Ashes Test match at the historic WACA ground, I couldn’t help but notice the wide variety of fans that strolled through the gates over the 5 days.

So, tell us, what stereotypical Ashes cricket fan are you?

The Member

You set your alarm an hour earlier than usual, just so you can hate the “Old Enemy” for that little bit longer. Having been a member since the 1960’s, you’ve reserved your seat 3 months early and let the rest battle it out for the best seats. Dressed immaculately in your tailored pants, collared shirt and vintage hat, your transistor radio is glued to ABC Grandstand and the dulcet tones of Jim Maxwell. Your back pack contains spare batteries (never used), sunscreen, a packed lunch, a thermos full of Earl Grey and today’s paper. Every wicket, run and boundary is met with a measured and respectful applause, all day, for the full 5 days and you are never, ever, one to stand in the batsman’s eyeline. You were there for “that hundred” in ‘73 or “that wicket” in ‘88.

Oh, and you don’t believe in Mexican waves.

The Country Member

You wake up at 4am on Day 1 of the test and drive 3-5 hours to get there before the first ball. If you’re lucky, you’ve finished harvest. If not, you’re going anyway. You get to the city and it takes 30 minutes to find a car park. Dressed in your country footy club polo and a pair of shoes you didn’t know you had, you realise you needed to line up 3 hours before the gates opened to get a decent seat in the shade. As a result, you head straight for the bar. There, you bump into Macca, Smithy, Jonno and Blue and spend the entire day in the “air conditioned” bar, waiting 15 minutes for beers in the process. But they’re full strength, so it’s worth it.

Oh, and you didn’t witness a single ball all day.

The Guest Pass

You’re fully aware of the costs associated with a membership, but have no interest in joining. Months out from the game, you text your mate, who you’ve been bludging off for years. “Hey mate, Benno here, so pumped for the cricket again this year!! Any danger of snaring your guest pass again?”. Once the day arrives, you have a big day, an even bigger night and sleep in until 11am the next day. You wake up and see your guest pass on the bed side table, which has prevented your mate from giving it to someone else. Deep down, you know the guest pass is yours anyway, so you don’t feel a shred of guilt. You think it’d be a good idea to buy your mate something small to say thanks, but the idea itself is enough.

Oh, and you can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Images: cricket.com.au

The Family

Your preparation starts long before the first ball. The night before, you pre-cook some frankfurters, butter the buns, blow the dust off the binoculars and load up your family back pack. You wake up early, (like you had a choice anyway….), boil the kettle and drop the frankfurters into a hot thermos. The kids are going to love you come the lunch break. Don’t forget the tomato sauce! Getting to the game, you realise your seats are in the “family designated area” on the grass bank in the sun all day long. You ensure you follow the boss’ (Mum’s) orders and ensure the kids are slipped, slopped and slapped. You spend a fortune on some obligatory merchandise; official magazine ($10), a water bottle ($15), a cap ($25), a wide brimmed hat ($30) and 2 x mini wooden bats for the kids to get signed ($50). And what the hell, you treat yourself and buy the latest Australian Cricket Team polo (XXL, priceless).

Oh, and at the tea break, you take the kids down to the radar gun and dislocate your shoulder trying to break the 100km/h mark.

That Guy

You somehow manage to wrangle a ticket to the Test off a “mate”, thanks to your post on Facebook at 9:30pm the night before. You arrive late, making your mate wait at the gate for half an hour and miss a seat in the shade. Throughout the day, you finish off his favourite zinc, eat half his lunch and drink all his water. When David Warner is on 38, you ring Sportsbet. “Yeh g’day, what’s Davey payin’ for a hundred? $2.90? I’ll have $200 on it, easy money”. Sure enough, he’s clean bowled two balls later. You clap over enthusiastically after every ball, call the players the incorrect nicknames and bash the ear drums of everyone around you reciting the stats you secretly just read on your Twitter feed.

Oh, and you didn’t buy a round all day. 

The Travelling Englishman

You book you trip 12 months out, and can’t wait to get to Australia to see the sights and watch the cricket with a few close mates. Having been allocated seats with the rest of the Barmy Army, you’ve had 6 beers before lunch on Day 1 at the GABBA. Forgetting that there’s a sun in Australia, you bake all…. day….. long! You quickly realise that the English don’t play well in Australia and talk about the death of English cricket at least twice a session. Australia then romp to a 5-0 whitewash and your dream trip quickly turns into a swim through, having not visited the coast once in your 44 days “Down Under”.

Oh, and you didn’t realise that sunscreen was invented in 1928. Pass the aloe vera!

So, tell us, what stereotypical Ashes cricket fan are you?

 
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Written by Tommy Moir our resident Rural Room sports columnist from Albany.