Of Cricket and Wickets

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26/12/07
Howdy sports fans! Notice how I’ve finally added a date to the first part of my post? A few people have mentioned that they’d like to know when I write each of my blog posts, so I am now complying. Basically, I’ve written a post every single day, but I realize that you’d probably still like to know the exact dates, so there you go. This post will be relatively brief, as there was basically only one thing that I did all day long on Boxing Day. I went to a 1 day Cricket match! That’s right, I got to spectate an International cricket match between Bangladesh and New Zealand,. I’ll be the first to admit that I know pretty much nothing about Cricket, but I was very willing to learn, so I was quite excited to be able to do this on my day off of biking.

After the pouring rain the day before on Christmas Day on my way in to Auckland, I was more than willing to kick back and relax on my day off. Sadly, I still had to get up early in the morning in order to do a load of laundry so that I’d have clean clothes the next day when I resumed my touring. I got that in at 8am, so that I’d be ready to leave the house around 9. We were first going over to the Friesen family house, which gave me a chance to finally upload a few more pictures onto the Flickr site. You’re all welcome 🙂 The coin toss was at 11:30, and NZ won, which meant they got to choose the starting batting team. They chose Bangladesh to go first. We were set to get to the stadium by noon, when the match would actually start.

Of course, we weren’t just sitting in the nosebleeds this time. No siree, as a result of Rick Friesen’s position, he was actually able to get us the TV3 corporate box for the game. As a result, the box was entirely composed of family and friends. Not only that, but we were also lucky enough to get all of our food and drink included in the box too. Huzzah. A day of no spending for a travelling cyclists is a great thing. Of course, I’d end up spending all that saved money the next day anyway, so it was kind of a wash, but still very appreciated.

One of the people in the box was a friend of Kevin’s by the name of Raj, who is a self-confessed cricket freak, and lives and breathes the games. I plopped myself next to him so that I could learn from him throughout the day. First thing I learned was that the other common form of cricket is called a test match, and it is a game which lasts 3 days instead of just one day. Insanity. Considering just the one day can last up to 8 hours, I can’t imagine spending an entire weekend watching it. However, I really enjoyed watching the game. It has a pretty good flow, with something always happening. There is pretty much no game interruptions, and play is continuous. Because the game lasts all day, you can easily ignore the game for a while, chat with friends, drink and eat, and join in watching the game and still haven’t really missed anything. Too funny.

In the end, NZ won the match, which was pretty much not in question. I could go into full detail about the mechanics of the game, but that really isn’t the point here. If you really want to learn about it, I’m sure Google will be able to help you out. I feel very confident about my knowledge of the game now, and think that if I went to another game, I’d have no problem following the action. When the game was all over, we headed back to the Friesen household to hang out. There was some talk of a Cranium rematch, but that never happened. There were various video gaming camps, as there is both a Wii and an Xbox 360 currently there. I opted to just work on the computer, and to have a look at a few maps to decide where I’d be heading the next day. I was bound and determined to break free of the Auckland comfort grip as soon as I could.

It’s far to easy to get sucked into the good life, with a bed to sleep in, food easy at hand, laundry, TV and games. However, that certainly isn’t the purpose of this trip, so I was only taking that single day off this time. My rough goal is to head around the Coromandel peninsula in the next few days and hopefully end up in Tauranga for New Years. Not sure if I’ll have connectivity at that time or not, but hopefully I can post a few things up before then. Either way, keep smiling and having fun, I know I am.

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