Field Theory by Hadyn Green


Friday at the test

The sun was shining, the grass was warm and I was genuinely enjoying the silence of the ground. The crowd murmur mixed with the background rumble from the city and was only punctuated by the whack of bat on ball (and because the Australians batted first, that happened a lot).

The bank at the Basin Reserve is wonderful too because the most comfortable position is lying down. This is not strenuous sports-watching; especially compared to the last event I went to (the Phoenix last home game).

We had strange position at the ground. At the southern end of the ground, we sat with a gap to our left for sometime as various groups would sit down and then realise the umbrella over the TV camera obscured their view. We were placed, rather un-wittingly, between the loudest Australian fans at the top of the hill and a freak-show of weirdoes who were all loosely affiliated with Sonny Shaw.

And this is where things changed. These two groups, and to a lesser extent another group of very intoxicated guys a bit further around, were the worst fans I have seen at a sports event. And I say this only because I don't count the leering fat bastards I saw on TV at the Hamilton V8s. As the day went on and more drinks were consumed the more obnoxious each group became.

Only the most non-descript could pass without comment. And heaven forbid you should own breasts. The freaks at the front clutched an A4-sized picture of (I think, I'm not going to Google it) Lara Bingle in cricket pads and a bikini that they would brandish at passing women with a comment or two. The guys up the back were resorting to wolf whistles.

At the time I was angry at them but not enough to do more than loudly deride them. Thinking later I realised how awful it really was. Even at the Sevens the munters weren't as bad as this. In contrast, the streaker (photos contain buttocks) was civilised. It felt good when, after an off-colour comment was made to a girl, a passing guy turned and told them to "fuck off".

As we left a fight was breaking out as some "Dutch-couraged" New Zealand fans attempted to steal an inflatable kangaroo from the Aussie supporters, in particular one large guy who didn't look like the fun-having type. The kangaroo ended up on the field.

On the whole though, watching a test is a fine way to spend a day with friends. In much the same way that Sevens and V8s aren't all munters, most folks at the cricket were just there to enjoy the day off. This could be seen when someone tried to start a Mexican wave to no avail. There were too many nice older gentlemen with transistor radios.

All of Mike's images are here

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