Let’s give it a go!: test cricket


(Beckie made the T-shirts, the hat bands, and the off-camera green-and-gold shoes. I bought the little flags.)

This was not our first time going to “the cricket,” but one could say this was our first time seeing serious cricket live. The Ashes is the most famous international cricket rivalry, held every other year between Australia and “England”.* A series is five tests, and each tests can last for as many as five days.

How’d it go? Brisbane hosted the opening test, and our tickets were for Day Four. Because England was favored and Australia had a bad first morning batting, we were worried this would be like having tickets to the fourth quarter of a football game where one’s team was down by 40 points. Instead, England had a remarkable collapse in their own batting on Day 2, and Australia had a great time batting on their own. By the end of Day 3, they “declared,” which means they had decided they were ahead by so many runs that they would forgo their remaining outs and let England start batting (because if Day 5 ends without both teams having two full innings, the match is a draw).

We had been following the first three days, at first casually online, and then once things started to go Australia’s way, far more closely on TV. We were texting developments in the match to one another. So by Day 4 we were ready to go. Plus we had our special cricket outfits!

We had a great time. Test cricket itself is actually far too boring in person to watch without something else going on. We were there for four hours, and saw two outs, while England managed to cut the lead from 500-some runs to 400-some runs. But, if you know that going in, and have your crossword puzzles and knitting handy, it’s fun to watch the crowd and soak it all in. As it happened, a bunch more did happen on Day 4, including Australia getting the six more outs needed to win the match, but by that time we were gone to the movies to see the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.

Would you go again? We’re absolutely in for Twenty/20 season. The first match of that is on our anniversary, so we have a decision to make there.

* I put England in quotes because the English provenance of at least one player on their team is dubious.

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