Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sydney - Cricket, Day 1

Sydney cricket got off to a good solid start for England - maybe the cooler conditions helped, rain held up the start of play and bad light stopped play early!

There were a lot of beautiful people in evidence, as you would expect in Sydney. We enjoyed celeb spotting - Brian Lara, the West Indies Captain appeared nearby at lunchtime to chat with friends, his diamond winking in his ear and a big smile on his face, and Richard Branson swept past waving and smiling on his way out.

Sean Ruane an English opera singer belted out Time to Say Goodbye to Warnie, McGrath, and Langer - aka Shane, Pigeon, Alfie. His appearance at tea time was orchestrated by the England team apparently. You could see Warnie really taking it all in, looking round the stadium and drinking up the scene and atmosphere.

The Barmy Army were massed on the Hill. Trumpet opposition from the Aussie fans did not materialise as it was rumoured it might and England's trumpet player received wild applause for his renditions of Jerusalem etc. The Barmy Army did a really clever arrangement that pointed up the stupidity of Sydneys ban on the Mexican Wave, they split themselves up into three, or was it four, parts and each part stood up to sing a particular refrain - so slick and quick it looked like an Mexican Wave.

Sydney was definitely the worst ground we have been to for Conveniences - the lack of them caused long, long queues and not just for the Ladies. It is also the only one we have seen smoking in the ground, not in the seating area admitedly but around the bars. There was a high police presence too, mounted police outside, sniffer dogs inside and the police are armed.

Australia, in spite of the line in their national anthem of being young and free, are in reality heavily regulated and seem to meekly accept it - for instance no one tries to cross the road if the pedestrian light is red even if there is no traffic. The Licencing Laws are draconian. You can't take alcohol into the cricket ground, but you can buy it while you are there, very much like England. However there are also big signs and several announcements (just in case you are in such a state you can't read when its time to go) that you are not permitted to take alcohol out of the ground! Lucky we don't drink at cricket!

We haven't got tickets for day 2 so we are going to see Priscilla - the Theatre production that is packing them in here. We are back to cricket again tomorrow, Day 3 and Day 4 .....

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