A day (and night!) at the cricket

8 Feb

Lights + Manuka Oval + a handful of tickets left = a genius Christmas present for my dad (and an opportunity to see him outside of my usual trip home for Christmas).

Rather than giving you a summary of the game (you can read about it here if you didn’t watch it on TV) (come on, Shane Watson smashed 122 off 111 balls! And we won!), I think it’s much more useful to tell you the great and the not so great and leave room for pictures!

Watching me, watching you

Watching me, watching you

The facts

– It was hot. Really hot. I could only see sunscreen for sale, but we’d brought an entire bottle in and kept ourselves well lathered. I have bright white skin as you may have seen from my photos, and I didn’t get a spot of sunburn. It was perfect sunbaking weather, if you’re into that sort of thing.

– Sometimes the drink lines were really long, and sometimes they were short. There was a significant period where the line to the ice cream was longer than the beer lines.

– The beer served was either light or midstrength, and there was red and white wine (from McGuigan Wines, I believe).

– Beer was restricted to four cups per person, and at some stage it was reduced to two. Not sure why. (Not ideal when there are three of you.)

– I got my Dad a #likecanberra shirt from the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre. We make quite a pair!

Me and my dad - represent! You can buy these shirts for $10 at the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre

Me and my dad – represent! You can buy these shirts for $10 at the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre

– When I purchased the tickets had no idea where we would be sitting. It turns out that Bay 21 Row B Seats 10-12 are right behind the barrier and next to the sight screen in the sun. Not the greatest tickets (they were silver, and literally the only ones left), but not the worst – in fact, pretty exciting to be so close to the action.

To be improved

– The icecream was great (I may have gone all out with a choc nut top with flake in a waffle cone), but I would have loved to see Canberra icon Mr Frugii there (on the weekend he’d made an appearance at the National Aboretum).

– It took quite a while to be served, which is exactly why people were getting four cups per person.

– Mobile coverage sucked. There’s no other way to put it. If you can’t tweet from a major event, then…?

– At about 90 minutes to go, they closed an entire bathroom area, and the people who closed it told us to walk half way around the oval to the other bathrooms. I’m again not quite sure why this happened.

The really great

– There seemed to be only a handful of seats which had a poor view. These were the seats really close to the barrier (we didn’t have a row A in front of us, but in Bay 20 there is a row A, and I think everyone would need a booster seat to see over the barrier), and seats directly behind cameramen. Other than that, every spot seemed to have a fantastic view. The oval doesn’t have seating which is too high, so wherever you sit it seems like you’ve got a great, close up view. From a quick wander round, I reckon row H is probably ‘ideal’ (it’s directly behind the main walkway, so you get the height as well as no one in front of you when you need to get up for refreshments).

– Fireworks. Normally I think fireworks are a big waste of money and overdone, but I loved this. It was understated, simple, and short. Just enough to distract us during the drinks break (clever not to have it at the end while we’re all trying to get out), and not over the top. Well done.

– The 70 cent cup holder cardboard cases were excellent. Sturdy and held the cups with minimal spill. This is genuinely a BIG DEAL.

Cardboard cup holders in action. Awesome.

Cardboard cup holders in action. Awesome.*

– The line to get in was surprisingly speedy. Simple matter of checking our tickets and a quick check of our bags. Nice. The line to get out was a little slower (there seem to be only two exits) but it wasn’t exactly painful.

2013-02-06 13.46.32

– The lights. Wow, are these beauties or what? I found it hard to stop staring at them.

Looking good!

Looking good!

World class.

World class. *

– Manuka (Marrn-uh-k’) Oval. Gee, we have a great oval. It was world class. It looked fantastic, especially under the lights.

Didn't look or feel like nighttime

Didn’t look or feel like nighttime


Nighttime? Really? *

– The teams. Loved seeing cricketers like Maxwell run to sign autographs for his junior fans every five minutes or so. Earned a lot of crowd approval. And honestly? It was a great game.

Nice work, Maxwell. *

Nice work, Maxwell. *

What we're here for

What we’re here for*

More of what we're here for

More of what we’re here for*

The result we're here for*

The result we’re here for*

– The crowd. Incredibly well behaved. I only heard about two minutes of actual sledging (and the person who did it got laughed at because it was so bad). The crowd was generous and friendly to both the teams, as well as each other.

Check out the Canberra 100 clapping sticks (?)! Sea of yellow :)

Check out the Canberra 100 clapping sticks (?)! Sea of yellow 🙂

– That we got to host this game. While I understand it’s part of the Canberra 100 celebrations, I think it was a really smart thing to do. We’ve been able to show off our fantastic oval and lights, and show we’re ready for this game. The game sold out, and what’s more it sold out on a Wednesday. And people dressed up! We are so ready for more games. The more games we have, the more the ‘to be improved’ will be addressed.

Crowd awesomeness*

Crowd awesomeness*

More crowd awesomeness*

More crowd awesomeness*

Even more crowd awesomeness*

Even more crowd awesomeness*

It just gets better*

It just gets better*

More of these games please - not just in our 100th year, but beyond!

More of these games please – not just in our 100th year, but beyond!

Almost over the top (okay probably over the top): Like Canberra shirt and Canberra 100 pin

Almost over the top (okay probably over the top): Like Canberra shirt and Canberra 100 pin. If you want a lot of compliments or strangers to approach you to ask where you get your shirt, well, this is it!

* asterisked photos were taken by Ben Foley, and I’m very grateful for his permission to use them on this blog. Thanks Ben!

Attendees: T1, her dad, and Boyfriend

Date: Wednesday, 6 February – 2.20pm to 10pm

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile. A day (and night!) at the cricket is just great. We got to make history with it being the first time the Australia team has played at Manuka Oval, it was a sellout crowd (providing for great atmosphere) and it’s such an enjoyable day (AND NIGHT!) out for everyone involved. Can’t wait to see the momentum build and for hosting to not be something we have to lobby for, but is just a given.

Cost: ~$60 each for silver tickets + beer + wine + food

Want more? Here’s the Manuka Oval website. If you want more games like this, make sure you let our Government (and Cricket ACT) know loud and clear.


6 Responses to “A day (and night!) at the cricket”

  1. Gary Lum February 8, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    Great images and story T1 🙂

    • inthetaratory February 8, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

      Cheers Gary! The credit should really go to Ben Foley for letting me use his great pics! 🙂

      • Gary Lum February 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm #


  2. Andrew McLaughlin February 17, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    Sorry for the belated comment – a really good write up. Thanks for being such a good advocate for my home town.


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