I suppose by now, I’ve been lucky enough to have been taken to many wonderful events including shows, concerts, corporate and sporting events. When he was alive, my dad was a big fan of watching test cricket, English Soccer and Tennis and I have always wanted to go to a live cricket game. And it’s always more way more fun when an event also come with a few bells and whistles (hell, might have mentioned I’m a tad shallow before –just like the other 99% of the population).

So, my time finally arrived the other night when Mr Sports-Fan-Extraordinaire invited me to a 20/20 game of cricket at ANZ stadium.
It was a pretty happy event because it also turned out Karen Thompson Enterprises was persuasive enough on this occasion to organise her way into a lovely catered box with an awesome view of the proceedings.

However, it’s probably also fair to say there is no glamour in parking in P4 and busing it with everyone else to the stadium but this this was a big game with a huge crowd of 56000, so well, you tend to find your transport options are rather limited.

The god of weather (whoever that is) was not very kind this night and the sky opened up with a downpour several times. My cricket education began as a very enthusiastic group of busy workers rushed out onto the field and quickly covered the wicket with massive and heavy looking tarpaulins so the ground wouldn’t get wet.
I was impressed at the organisation of these guys who worked very quickly and effectively in teams, getting the ground covered up. Unfortunately their services were required several times during the evening with the onset of patchy rain.

The refreshments started to arrive and a fine array of wonderful food came out and around. I particularly enjoyed the Chicken Tikka Masala, the food was mostly Indian themed and even though it didn’t really resemble the food I had tasted in Goa last month it was a decent nod at it.

Mr SFE helpfully explained the rules of the game along the way and before I knew it I was getting into the flow of things.

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The sounds of the Vintage Australian Super-group Sherbet belted out the cricket anthem “HOWZAT”. Mr SFE explained that the term actually meant when someone is caught out in Cricket the term HOWZAT is called as part of an appeal, and the referee makes a decision but usually ‘They are then out’! Mm-mm recently I encountered a very negative force, a liar, cheat, thief, and “it just isn’t Cricket”, mmmm, yup… “HOWZAT!”

At this stage the box was buzzing and this shortened form of the game was intense and very exciting. The Batsmen on both teams were just hitting the ball with everything they had and the competition was hotting up.
Perhaps Cricket Traditionalists would be shocked at this modern style of the game but it was fast paced and exciting. Adding to the energy when fours and sixes were hit was the loud music blaring around the stadium, bursts of fire and hot moves by the KFC dancers (appropriately Bollywooded out for when India scored).

Half time arrived as did a great fireworks show that added to atmosphere, however the rain made it quite smoggy for a few minutes there. By now I’d had a couple of glasses of wine and was feeling quite light headed and flirty and was very much enjoying the company of Mr SFE.

The best part of the game was the last few overs and India were desperate to catch the Aussie boys. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric and the Indian fans made the night fun and really memorable. I understand they take the sport of Cricket very seriously in India as every taxi driver I met over Christmas on finding out I was from Australia would want to talk about the Australian Cricket team. Ten minutes before the end of the game it became very clear that the Indian team just couldn’t beat the high score set by the Aussies.

Mr SFE winked and nudged me as he pulled out his Pullman suite key. Even though sport is his life he recognized that this part of the evening was reserved for some tandem intimate indoor athletics and we both quietly snuck out of the box and headed to the Pullman stadium, I mean hotel. Once again the rain pelted down and by the time we got to the hotel we were both drenched. It was a good excuse to get our clothes off very quickly. A great strategic move that one. Thanks to Mr SFE I learnt quite a few cricket terms that night.

I can’t wait until he takes me to my next sporting event and if it is a cricket match, well I’m practically now an expert.