Feeling like I belong – the magic of membership

And I’m back!makes me smile

Bit of a break from the writing about cricket while some other stuff was going on, but now the Aussie season is getting back into swing I’m all fired up again.

It may have just a little something to do with recently becoming a WACA member and having just tripped down to Perth over the weekend to spend a couple of days in the members stands for the first Sheffield Shield match of 2014-15 season.

What a win for the WACA boys over the Tassie Tigers! I’m very sad for the lovely George though. Not a good start to his bid to make it back into the Aussie test team.

The lovely George wondering what to try next...

The lovely George wondering what to try next…

Saturday was just balmy – a beautiful warm day for my good friend Mel and I to spend having a beer or three, checking out a few different spots for cricket viewing, and a visit to the WACA museum too. Nice break from the kids for Mel, and nice change for me to have company at the cricket!

Sunny, 29 degrees, beer, wine, kicking back watching some cricket - could it get better?

Sunny, 29 degrees, beer, wine, kicking back watching some cricket – could it get better?

We both felt pretty chuffed to be there for Cameron Bancroft’s maiden first class ton – what a great job he did. Concentration did wane a bit in the second session, when it seemed like Tassie might never get another batsman out. But the third more than made up for it, with a steady tumble of wickets once the dominant Bancroft – Voges partnership of the second session was broken. So by the end of the day, although WA was clearly in the box seat, it did feel like there was a fight on at least.

As we were leaving, we shared the stairs down from the members’ bar with none other than WA coach and ex Aussie batsman Justin Langer. He even smiled and offered us a “Nice day for it” greeting. I tried to be cool about that and make a half decent reply, but suspect I failed!

It’s actually the second time I’ve had a close encounter with Langer on those very stairs – the first being when I did a really enjoyable guided tour of the ground in March this year. On that occasion, he and I did that little dance where we both tried to step out of each other’s way, only to get more in each other’s way. To be honest, it was only afterwards I realised who he was.

Later in the tour we had checked out the players rooms, only to encounter the boys just come in from a final training session before they headed to Queensland for their day-night Shield match, one of the last of the season. They were really friendly and we had a decent chat with one of the young guns, and with Captain Adam Voges.

And that is my overriding impression so far of the WACA team and scene – lots of friendly people, and very down to earth. The folks in the membership office were great. No one got grumpy with me (well not that I noticed!) for moving about a lot – I was a bit restless and keen to check out as many different areas as I could. I’m afraid I only remembered part way through about the etiquette of cricket spectating!

The bar was a little bit lacking unfortunately – super friendly staff, but disappointing that a good number of things on the menu weren’t available. I wonder is it so hard to put out a special menu for the smaller matches when, understandably, it makes sense to offer fewer choices?

Post cricket cocktails - perfect end to a gorgeous day out.

Post cricket cocktails – perfect end to a gorgeous day out.

Anyway, that aside, it was a great day. So much so I decided to go back Sunday to catch another couple of sessions before I had to start the long drive home.

I suspect that’s going to be the flavour of my summer from here on in.


Only human after all …


At first I was shocked. Then disappointed. Then simply confused.

Did I really see that?

I mulled it over for a while…

And slowly it dawned on me: well, he’s only human after all !

And I’m sure I can still continue to enjoy his twinkly-eyed smiles in future, once I get that image out of my head.

George Bailey’s violent outburst of anger at being run out in the final Australia v India ODI series did surprise me. I thought he was Mr Unflappable.

Seems not!

I can only imagine the pressure he must have felt – so much talk lately of him being near-enough the messiah! And with such a huge target to chase… But even so, that was quite some display.

It reminded me a little of another occasion of sporting anger that had a lasting impression on me. I was 9 years old, playing in the grand final of my first year as a netball player. I was pretty good, tho I do say myself, but I had a temper and was aggressive on court. (Most who know me would be surprised by that! It’s part of the reason why in my late teens I decided volleyball was the only team sport I was safe with… 😉 )

But back to that 80’s netball grand final – at one point, having been picked up for travelling, I slammed the ball into the ground before taking my place sullenly alongside my opposite number who’d now been given the ball instead.

It was the only game of the year that my mum was able to come and see – she had to take time off work.

Afterwards she gave me one of the biggest serves of my life – swore that if she ever saw me do something like that again she’d march right out on to the court and give me a hiding in front of everyone!

I wonder what George’s mum would have said to him…

Photo credit: Sum_of_Marc via photopin cc