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Published: January 1st 2011
Monday 27th December and it was the second day of the Ashes Cricket Test Match. Grant had kindly got us tickets for this day and as he is a Member of the MCG it meant we could sit in the privileged area. But what wasn’t in the script was the weather – it was raining! And not only that, it was really cold. The weather forecast had predicted a showery day so we had our anoraks and umbrellas ready but we decided to take fleeces as well. We drove round to Daphne’s as she was coming with us – Daphne is also a Member and so has a yearly ticket worth it’s weight in gold. We left the car at the house and walked, in the rain, to the local newsagent where we bought day return tram tickets, strolled to the tram stop and within a few minutes a number 75 tram came into view. Daphne doesn’t drive but she has never needed a car because she lives so close to a wonderful transport system. Trams, buses and trains (and, of course, an airport) are all readily available to take her wherever she wants both in Melbourne and beyond. We managed
We were surprised that the covers were coming off
The grey, drizzly conditions didn't seem to bother the umpires - good on em!
to get seats but the tram got pretty busy as it got nearer the city. Plenty of cricket supporters were catching the same tram so for the latter part of the journey it was packed to the rafters. Luckily for us the number 75, which goes right into the city centre, also goes right by the MCG. The journey was about 45 minutes but for us it was completely stress free and with no parking worries.
It was a five minute walk to Gate 2 – the Members entrance – we weren’t sure where exactly to go but a steward soon pointed us in the right direction – we could sit anywhere we wanted within a certain block. We were quite early but many of the seats were already taken. We picked seats quite near the front where we had a great view. Up until quite late it was still drizzling so we were surprised that the main covers on the wicket had been taken off. The TV and radio commentators and numerous cricket “pundits” were out examining the pitch and then the umpires appeared. We thought they would announce a delay but no. The minor covers were removed
and, spot on time, out came the Aussie team followed by the two English batsmen, Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook. Because both the batsmen had already scored 64 and 80 respectively we thought at least one of them would go on to get a century but sadly it was not to be. They were both out in the first forty minutes or so. Still that meant we saw Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott batting together. Ricky Ponting caused quite a stir when he argued with one of the umpires at length because he thought Pietersen should have been given out. TV replays proved he wasn’t out and he went on to score 51. We saw Trott get a wonderful century and by the end of the day he had scored 141 not out.
The weather stayed cloudy for most of the day with only the odd sunny interval. It drizzled a bit but didn’t interrupt play. But it stayed really cold. Every now and then Daphne and I retreated to the covered area to get hot drinks but Graham bravely stayed put and carried on watching the game. By 5pm we were beginning to feel uncomfortable with the continuing
cold so we gave in and missed the last hour’s play. We were soon seated on a number 75 tram and about 45 minutes later we were walking back to Daphne’s house.
All the time we had been out David had been busy taking wallpaper off the walls in the bathroom. Every year when he stays at Daphne’s he tries to help her by doing some DIY and this year is no exception. The walls and ceiling will get a fresh coat of paint and there will be new tiles around the basin. David wanted to carry on decorating so we left him to it and went out to Georges – a delightful Italian restaurant in Camberwell. At least by the time we went back to the caravan we had warmed up a bit!
We felt we needed a quiet day on Tuesday so just popped up to the local shopping centre. We looked in the Dick Smith electrical shop on the off-chance and there was a great value small, flat-screen TV. We couldn’t resist this bargain since we already had a couple of aerials so were ready to go. Back at the caravan up went the aerial
and we eventually got a reasonable picture on the cricket channel so that was our day sorted! By the end of the day’s play England had declared and the Aussies were on the rack with six second innings wickets down. It entered our heads then that we should go back to the MCG the next day to witness a very rare occurrence – the Aussies losing at the MCG and England retaining the Ashes!
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