East Perth, Australia
I’d not planned to come to Perth, so hadn’t looked for a ticket. On Wednesday night I figured it was time to prepare to try the touts (that is, learn the face value of tickets so I know what I’m after in the queue) at the ground the next day, and I learnt three things:
General admission tickets are available at $40.85.
The game starts on Friday.
Someone called Dave has 7 general admission tickets for sale, face value; I stumbled upon them on gumtree.
Productive surfing, for my ego and progress. Dave was happy to meet me in Perth, and the deal was done, with him continuing to the same deal with the other dodgy looking geezer hanging around outside the Perth mint. One day, in 40 degree heat, will do nicely, and the first day is ideal – I was stoked.
The WACA is a ground that looks in need of some love. Unlike the newly renovated Gabba and Oval, there is no grand spread of covered stands round 3/4 of the ground (or more). I was on the East bank, on one of the two grassed banks at either side. For the first session I mused that the big screen was too small and/or too far away to be seen properly. This is why on aeroplanes they remind you that ‘the nearest exit may be behind you’.
At lunch I sheltered in the shade, wondering whether I could handle going back into the heat. Anything happening on the pitch took our minds off the heat, otherwise my mind cycled through “it is hot” and “I am sweating”. There was a braggart behind me, coming out with the longest and least amusing comments “wooargh Broady that’s a one day field, shows how much the captain trusts you, he thinks you’re crap” I’ve heard, at high volume. He sounded very angry with it, but was at pains to be fair when chatting with others – or chatting at them, their interjections were just periods where he couldn’t talk. As the lovely song GBH (John Grant) goes
“I’m only waiting for you to stop talking, so that I can.”
It was pointed out to him that he was in the family zone-surrounded by people with their kids, ready for those kids to be the cute lunchtime entertainment – and to not swear, but dad was pushing it by defining ‘crap’ as a swear word. I couldn’t have supported him on any level there – use the words, language is good – but wished his target would shut up because he was being intensely boring. But sledging is, I guess, only pithy and clever at its best. Annoying will do.
After lunch I moved along the bank a little, hoping for more peace. I ended up surrounded by Englishmen, and for a while it was exciting (and great distraction from the heat) as England reduced them to 140-5. Yes, we’re in.
Haddin and Smith took it away again with a long partnership, punctuated with 4s. The temperature cooled by 4pm, with a breeze and fading sun. Stunning weather for some cricket that didn’t make great watching for English fans. I’m reduced to being glad I’ve visited each ground and seen Ashes cricket there, at least.
Reading: The End of Food.