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In the morning the England tail wagged in a lively session but the next two, with the Australians batting, could be termed attritional (cricket-speak for boring). Australia do not want to lose this match but one has the impression that they are relaxed  if they do not win it either. I suspect they will bat on today, Steve Smith beating Bradman’s record of 4 centuries in series, and put in England tired by extreme heat. Rain is predicted Monday so if England can last out the game will, like Melbourne, peter out into a draw. England’s best hopes are a turning wicket for the second Australian innings. Mason Crane is bowling tidily but I see no devilry.

Whenever I look at the members’ stand I admire its fine architecture, however there is much about this stadium that irritates me.

Loud music perpetuates on the  speakers till the first ball is bowled. You have to queue for the smelly toilets. There are few if any stewards to guide you to your seat or outside to point you in the right direction. The signage is poor. One of our group complained that, as she descended the escalator to exit, such was the press of people that she was forced back onto it. The MC loves his own voice and his interviews on the big screen is inane. To sum up: the stadium experience is poor.

The Richies were out in force.

As we waited for our late driver, one Richie walked past drunk and told me to eff off. I cannot imagine the real Richie doing that.

I met a friend and we sat with the Barmy Army who, despite the heat and any vestige of England success, were in good  cheer and voice.

One man I admire is Glenn McGrath. Tragically he lost his wife Jane to cancer but his foundation has raised now over $500,000 (£275,000) and Saturday will be  a ‘wear pink day’ to intensify the awareness.

This said, I do not go to cricket match to hear an interview of a cancer sufferer explaining how she felt when diagnosed. This was all the more painful for me as two close friends have cancer and are living with it heroically but far less publicly. I also take exception to an Aussie cricketer on the screen preaching about zero tolerance to gender and race from the crowd when his team-mates have been indulging in sledging for years.

The last two nights I have watched the Big Bash on tv. Needless to say the noise levels are that of a Status Quo concert. Okay, it’s not attritional/boring but I felt it was a baseball match not cricket.

About Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath began his lifelong love affair with cricket as an 8 year-old schoolboy playing OWZAT? Whilst listening to a 160s Ashes series on the radio. He later became half-decent at doing John Arlott impressions and is a member of Middlesex County Cricket Club. He holds no truck at all with the T20 version on the game. More Posts