When I was living in France, I have never been a sport fan. I have been only one time to the French tennis open (Roland Garros), I have seen one day the “Tour de France” because the riders were biking in the city where I was living and I have never been to a rugby match which is a shame when you think that the city where I originally come from has the best team ever (ASM). I guess it was not really my thing at that time… but living abroad made me more curious I suppose and now I enjoy discovering about sports I am not familiar with and cricket is definitely one of them!
Sunday for the first time, I took part to the Cricket World Cup 2015 at Adelaide Oval! It was nothing like I would have ever imagined… First, I discovered that a cricket match is VERY long: this one started at 2pm and ended at 10pm… so you’d better come prepared because it is a long time spent on a plastic seat! Forget what you know about other sports or logic because cricket is really different!
I – The atmosphere
A cricket match is like a French family lunch on a weekend where everybody sits, eats and chats during HOURS about anything and sometimes stops when there is some “action” like a drunk uncle talking no sense or no more wine in the cellar or worst no more bread! Frankly, I was surprised to see that the people are not focus all the time on the match… actually they are chatting about what they did last weekend, their jobs, their families and eventually the match when a team scores! I have seen some people reading the newspaper, other enjoying a glass of wine, some texting on their Iphones… it is a very relaxed event where people are reunited in the name of cricket! In my opinion, the ideal is to come with good friends of yours, have some beers, some junk food, entertaining conversations and enjoy the show on the field! If you have good company, it is a nice way to spend your Sunday.
II – The game
I am not sure I understood the rules… but I managed to get a few things! So there are 2 teams playing on the field so you pick the one you want to support (generally I base my choice on the jersey colour). It is a bat and ball game so basically one team bats and the other bowls and then it is the other way around. The goal is to score as many runs as possible, easy! It is good to do a WICKET or a FOUR (people seems to be happy when it happens). It is bad to do a LEG BEFORE WICKET you don’t want that, never! I personally like the WICKET thing because the stick flies in the air and there is a little flashing light on its end which is pretty original.
The cricket match is divided into periods which is good so you can go in peace during the break to the food stand in the meantime to get some nachos or fries… because there are not actions all the time during the game so you don’t want to miss it when it occurs… it is like fishing, you never know when the fish is going to bite and you want to be there when it happens! Applaud and stand up when your team scores and don’t hesitate to encourage them shouting “Hit the Ball!”, “Come on guys!”, take some pics and post them on Instagram and you’ll be all right 🙂 people won’t even noticed it is your first time!
III – The environment
I think we are really lucky in Adelaide. The oval is so beautiful, colourful, very modern and gigantic! This stadium looks like a convention centre. The bathroom are very fancy like in a SPA, there are even candles, can you believe that on a match day!? Also, it can be very warm in the stadium during the afternoon (hey, we are in Oz world!) so bring a hat, sun glasses, sun block and a fan! Like I said a match can last until late at night so bring a pullover, a scarf and a jacket too or you’ll be sorry because it can get chilly! A nice way to end the evening after a match if you are still hungry is to head to the Bakery on O’Connell street in North Adelaide or The Orignal Pancakes kitchen in the CBD, they are both opened 24/7 and pretty closed from the Oval!
In my opinion, it is worth going at least once in your life to a cricket game especially with a group of friends you want to catch up with! I am glad I did, I mean it is always fun and refreshing to experience new things. I must say I spent a good time and I liked the atmosphere. I hope crickets fans won’t be offended by my vision… again this is cricket decoded by a French girl who attended to her first match… it is clear I am not Don Bradman 😉