August 2009
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Jrod: An experience I will never forget

August 25th, 2009 by Jrod in England, Test cricket, The Ashes


I am racking my brain thinking of something more torturous for an Aussie cricket fan than sitting at The Oval on Sunday. Watching Paul Harris bowl? Maybe.

Little else could compare to being an Australian with 22,500 screaming English fans as they bayed for your team’s blood.

On the first day at The Oval the atmosphere was something you would expect at the first speech of an accountancy seminar.

By day two the crowd had found their voice because of Stuart Broad.

Then it was non-stop noise, save some nervous silences. Shagging Matilda was sung. Aussies were made fun of. Singles were given 30 second cheers. Streaky 29s had standing ovations. And each wicket was celebrated like the birth of an extremely attractive baby.

When there was no hope left all Australians took it differently.

My mate left. My mum threw her hat. My dad swore. And I tried to work out the meaning of life.

Then we all drank.

About 12 minutes after Michael Hussey’s dismissal I was in the pub, where the TV was blaring with the game anyway, and I drank three pints in record time.

I needed to drink out the loss, not the crowd. They were great.

I have never been to an Ashes deciding Test – in Australia they are usually decided at the Gabba toss.

So to be in the ground when the Ashes was about to be won was amazing.

The anticipation of the crowd, nervous silences during partnerships, their inability to accept they couldn’t lose, the false starts, the Harmy hat-trick attempt, and the frenzied noise was intoxicating.

All the Aussies with me agreed. We were at something special, even if it was our own crucifixion.

It was an experience I will never forget, and one I never want to relive.

Jrod is an Australian blogger, and now author. His book The Year Of The Balls 2008: A Disrespective is available now

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