Whinging Aussies

It’s been an interesting experience so far following the fortunes of the England cricket team from deep in enemy territory.

On the one hand, I will get to see far more of this Ashes series than I would have done had I been in the UK, as the time difference turns something that would otherwise have happened while I was at work into prime evening viewing–the 11AM start for the first test translates to 8PM over here. Much to Sal’s chagrin I can watch the first two sessions right up to the tea break and I only need to stay up until half past midnight, which isn’t difficult at all given that I’ve done far worse since we’ve been here in my attempts to keep up with the Everton.

Even better, the TV coverage is the same as I’d be watching back home, as neither SBS nor Fox Sports, the Free to Air and Pay TV broadcasters with the rights to show the games, have bothered to send over any commentators. Thanks presumably to the Global Financial Crisis (TM) we only have to put up with about 5 minutes of pre-match Stuart MacGill awkwardly stumbling over his words while chatting to a couple of ex-Aussie players in a studio that I assume is in Sydney before the action cuts across to David Lloyd, Ian Botham, Mike Atherton, Nasser Hussain and the rest over in their commentary box. I’m surprised that the Australian Cricket loving public are happy to put up with this state of affairs, but it certainly works for me.

On the other hand, I do have to put up with lashings of (generally good natured) abuse from the locals…

At least this time, when my boss brought up the subject on Monday morning, I was able to turn around and say: “hey, I thought we were supposed to be the whingers?” as the post-match newspaper reports over here have predictably concentrated not on the game itself but on the allegations of time wasting. Funny how there’s always some kind of excuse whenever the aussies fail in some way: no matter that they had plenty of time–40 minutes–to get that vital final wicket, or that they had the whole day to bowl us out and failed to do so, the real reason for Australia’s failure to win the test match was because the physio and the 12th man were out on the pitch holding things up for maybe all of 5 minutes. The way Ricky Ponting calls it, you’d think it had been a five hour pitch invasion.

So roll on Lords. And hopefully this won’t be the only opportunity I’ll have this year to laugh at Australian cricketers desperately making excuses for the result…