I am a cricket fanatic. I do not deny it indeed a rejoice in it. I have been to the first day of the first test of the summer at the Gabba every year since 20 November 1998 when the Australian’s led by Mark Taylor and Alec Stewart’s England faced off. This year will be my 15th year anniversary of attending the first day of the first test of the summer. I have seen some great things on day 1:
* G McGrath’s 6/17 against the West Indies on 23 November 2000
* N Hussain’s brain melt and bowling on 7 November 2002
* R Ponting’s 149 against the West Indies on 3 November 2005
* The “Harmison Ball” and another Ponting hundred on 23 November 2006
* P Jacques’ breakthrough hundred against Sri Lanka on 8 November 2007
* P Siddle’s hatrick and 6/54 against England on 25 November 2010
* The partnership between Amla and Kallis on 9 November 2012
It is an Ashes year this year and, by rights, I should be more excited than normal for day 1 given the contest that is about to take place. Strangely though I am, frankly, just a bit nonplussed about it all. I have been away for a week and have had plenty of times to ponder the upcoming test and my lack of current excitement for it and suspect that a combination of my ongoing disgust with the administration of the game in Australia, the lack of first class cricket that has been played in Australia to date and concerns about the Australian team selected has led to this.
A couple of people have suggested to me that I am just a “fair weather” fan and am not excited about the cricket because Australia is losing but that could not be farther from the truth. I concede I hate that Australia is losing but this is the Ashes for goodness sake: I should be just itching for the action to start. My worries though about the state of the game in Australia under the watch of the “Three Stooges” (Sutherland, Howard and Inverarity) are getting in way of that. I wonder if I am alone in feeling this way because, I concede from a limited sample, the bulk of cricket people I have been talking with about the series seem similarly nonplussed. This has left me to further wonder whether some of the passion Australia cricket fans have for the game is being sucked of the fans by the state of the game.
Hopefully I will get over my disdain for the work of the Three Stooges in the next couple of days as I am immersed in the lead up to the game because, in my respectful opinion, there are few better days of cricket to attend than the first day of the first test of the summer. I have been to cricket at every test ground in Australia, save for Bellerive, and day one of the first test of the summer is right up there, for me, with Boxing Day at the MCG.
One final ponderance: there has been special cricket played on the first day of the first test at the Gabba over the last 15 years which I have been privileged to watch. I am left to wonder though, given that there are still tickets available, how long Brisbane fans of the game will be afforded such a privilege? This day is one of the show piece days of cricket for the year but support for it, and the Brisbane test, continues to wane. This can not go on much longer before the Gabba loses this game.