In 2012 and 2013 (not 2014 because I was in Western Australia) I have been trying to go to a cricket test match right after New Year’s, but the weather was not favorable. This year, I almost thought it would be the same case again because it rained in the morning. However, it cleared up and the sun even came out a bit.
Fortunately, a friend of mine and his two boys were going to the game as I didn’t want to go on my own (eventually a couple and their son joined as well). I had tried that before and had left after only 15 minutes because it was very boring (Twenty20 game in bad weather) and I didn’t understand a single thing. Not having any commentary didn’t help either. The only other game was the “Fill the Basin for Christchurch” charity game which was more fun than competition.
So this year was my lucky year. Today was the first day of the test match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. I lasted 4 hours in overcast but also frequently very sunny weather on the embankment near the Pavilion at the Basin Reserve. It was a good spot to watch the action, but not so great for taking photos of the bowlers and batsmen as you could only see them from the side. Thus, my photos are rather limited also because I didn’t have a telephoto to get closer action shots.
Chris was a huge help explaining cricket rules whenever I had a question and even when I didn’t. It certainly helped to understand what was going on on the green since there was hardly any commentary so as not to break the concentration of the teams.
During half time, everyone could go onto the oval themselves to inspect the wickets or to bowl a few balls and be a batsman. Lots of people took that opportunity to go onto the green and stretch a bit. Chris said that the Basin is one of the few cricket grounds left in the world where you can do that during matches. It’s pretty neat I must say to watch fathers and their children and friends engage in a little game and be completely excited about what they are doing, imitating their stars whom they have seen playing just a few minutes earlier.
It was a great day soaking up some relaxed Kiwi summer atmosphere enjoying some of the country’s favorite pastimes: watching cricket, hanging out outside in nice weather with friends and a cricket specific: dressing up as a the Beige Brigade (Chris and Kahu even made it onto the Blackcaps Twitter for dressing up).
This was certainly a super introduction to a cricket test match. I love the Basin and that I saw my first test match there instead of a huge, anonymous stadium.
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