Friday, August 7, 2009

About the Cricket...

Australians are a sport loving people. True to his nationality, the Handsome Australian loves sports. He really loves any sport that's going, but among his favourites are Aussie Rules Football and Cricket. I'd say these are the two sports he follows the closest and the ones that the children and I are subjected to watching most frequently.

In another life (before he married an American girl) the Handsome Australian was actually a talented Cricket player. He played with the same club throughout his youth and, if you believe the braggings of a proud father, was asked at some stage to play for Victoria. Turns out the Handsome Australian wasn't involved in Cricket for the fame and fortune--he just liked playing the game and wasn't interested in taking it any further than his local club. So play on he did, filling his summer weekends with bats, balls and beers.

When I first turned up in Australia, the Handsome Australian was still very much involved in his Cricket club. His weekends were consumed with matches and I was left to entertain myself. At some stage, I decided I should take an interest in his Cricket playing and attend some of his matches in a show of support. So I organised to have one of the Handsome Australian's Handsome brothers deliver me to the Cricket pitch one Saturday morning to see my man play. To his credit, the Handsome Australian's brother tried to warn me.

Handsome Australian's Brother: "Are you sure you really want to go and watch a match? Grass growing is often more interesting than Cricket ya know."

Me: "It can't be that bad, it's probably a bit like baseball. I'm sure it will be interesting. Besides, it will be nice to see him play."

HAB: "Okay, look I'll drop you off, but I'm coming back in an hour or so just in case you change your mind. That way you won't be stuck here all day."

Me: "If you insist, but I'm sure I'll be fine to watch the whole match."

HAB: "You do realise the match won't be finished until TOMORROW afternoon right?"

Me: "Um, yeah, tomorrow, yeah. Look just drop me off, I'll be fine."

I got out of the car wondering what the heck I'd signed myself up for. As I made my way over to the Cricket pitch I noticed something straight away. There were NO SPECTATORS!!! Absolutely no one was watching this game besides the players from each team that weren't currently on the field. I imagined a small crowd of people would be gathered and I'd be able to meet and chat to a few of them. No such luck. Not only that, I was probably the only female in a 10km radius. I felt totally out of place.

As I approached the club house, some of the boys took notice of my presence and asked if they could help me with anything. Our conversation went something like this:

Cricket Dude: "Hi there. Can I help ya find something?"

Me: "Oh I'm just here to watch HA play."

CD: "Oh, righto. You must be that American bird he was telling us about."

Me: American bird? Huh? What had he told them? "Yes, I guess that's me."

CD: "Well there he is. He's out there bowling at the moment. He just took a wicket before, but you missed that."

Me: Not recognising the foreign language being spoken to me "I see. Is that a good thing?"

The entire group of boys laughs.

CD: "They don't play a lot of Cricket in America do they?"

Me: "No, no they don't"

CD: "That's not obvious at all."

More laughter from the boys

Me: Laughing nervously. If you can't beat them join them I thought. "Yes, I clearly have a lot to learn. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll just go and sit in the shade of that tree and see what I can glean."

Oh my God I thought, what kind of boy's club was this? I sat under the tree watching balls being bowled back and forth, back and forth and the Handsome Australian took another wicket or two. Although I had no appreciation for what that meant at the time. Then, after awhile, I heard the toot of a car horn from the car park and looked up to see the Handsome Australian's brother waving to me. I got up and literally ran to his car. I'd had enough of this rubbish to last a lifetime.

HAB: "So what'da think?"

ME: "What a colossal waste of time! And those guys--they are a bit rude really."

HAB: "I tried to warn you."

ME: "I know, I'll take your advice much more seriously the next time."

HAB: "What'da wanna do now?"

ME: "I think I need a stiff drink."

HAB: "Now, that, that is a good idea."

Off we went to the pub to try and erase the memories of my one hour foray into the world of Cricket. It wasn't until much, much later that I actually began to appreciate the game...

(Did I just say 'appreciate the game'? Uh oh, this can't be good)


Laine Moore said...

give me a hot dog, or some nachos and baseball game any day! :)

Lisa in Oz said...

This cracked me up! I have never seen a cricket game in real life - the ones on TV are boring enough - but I do kind of like listening to it on the radio for background noise. There are these long periods of near silence followed by sudden frantic excitement filled with whacked out phrases, followed by more long periods of near silence. It's kind of blissfully incomprehensible.

suzinoz said...

@ Laine-I'm with you on the nachos, but basketball's my poison.

@ Lisa--Wait till you read the rest of the story about cricket...hoping to post in next day or so! Blissfully incomprehensible indeed.

BobinOz said...

Now I come from England originally, now living in Oz, and the English are supposed to love cricket. But not me, I can't stand it!
When I first arrived in this country I was having some work done by a local carpenter. To make conversation he said to me "did you see the cricket last night?"
"no" I said "I hate cricket"
"well that killed that conversation didn't it?" He said.

What followed was a very long silence. I realised if I wanted to make friends in this country, perhaps I should try a little harder and not be so blunt.



A Free Man said...

I actually prefer it to baseball these days. At least they aren't juiced!

Hi from another American expat!

Annelise said...

I don't think I would make it through a cricket match...sounds a bore... Remember when he explained the rules of the game while you two were dating in Argentina??? You came home all pissed off at how much of a bore he was and then you married him!!!!!!!!!

Rita said...

I detest cricket. It is the most BORING game ever to be invented. May a lightening bolt strike me now for saying that, I don't care. I don't know the rules and I never care to learn them either. If that makes me un Australian then so be it!

suzinoz said...

@ Bob--thanks for stopping by. I wish my husband shared your feelings toward cricket...Ashes on TV as I type this. =(

@ A Free Man-thanks for popping in! I feel that way about Aussie Rules vs. NFL football. It's a much more exciting game.

@ Annelise--there are lots of drinks at the Cricket. That might entice you to stay at least 5 minutes. Yes, I remember and yes I married him. Now I get to watch Cricket forever!!!!!!

@ Rita--you are un Australian! Not really because you love the Pies. As long as you follow some kind of sport you are okay. =)

Nathalie said...

I say no to Cricket and no to Aussie Rules. One is sooooo boring and the other requires no skill apart from being able to run for an hour and to fill tiny tiny shorts :-)

suzinoz said...

@Nathalie--I can't believe you are bagging Aussie Rules. No skill? The same assessment could be applied to the World Game my friend! There's about an hour's worth of running and some tiny shorts involved there as well. OMG, am I defending Aussie Rules?? Help!!!! I think I'm turning Australian.

Bush Babe said...

Well cricket is kind of an aquired taste I think... I grew up on it and was once obsessed (not so these days - I loved it in the West Indes heyday - lots and lots of eye candy!).

Aussie rules is probably one of the games that requires the highest level of fitness EVER - don't mind it (but admit to admiring the view more than the game, if you get my drift).

But for me.... rugby. Mmmmm. Love it!

suzinoz said...

@ BB-I have been to see the Wallabies play and have watched a bit of World Cup Rugby (because like I said, the Handsome Australian will watch anything that's going), but we don't really get a lot of exposure to it down here in Vic. It did remind me a bit more of American Grid Iron though. I think the AFL players are on the whole better eye candy than the Rugby guys. I can't get past the thick, thick necks they all have.