We made it to Sydney on the last stop of the Test series, which has turned into a triumphant Grand Tour. Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney. Only the final verse remains to be written. [Ed. Apart from some meaningless ODIs and odious T20s.]
New Year’s Eve in Sydney is a ‘thing’, with nearly 2 million people leaving the comfort of their homes to squash in together at vantage all around the harbour to eat food that has been squashed in transit, drink cheap bubbly that is slightly warm and watch some fire works. The six hour wait from when your have to stake out your spot until the first round of fireworks is an endurance event even when the weather is mild. There are always tensions as late comers try to sneak in to join their friends, pretending they were there earlier but had just gone for a walk. By the time 9 o’clock comes around, the best spots look like a multicoloured penguin colony.
It’s the sort of thing I used to do with Thea or Mum and Dad, but us well known International Cricketers we are advised to stay away from crowded events where patrons are likely to be drinking too much and getting too much sun. Test Matches, ODIs and T20s are an obvious exemption.
With the 5th test just a few days away, we had a very subdued night seeing in the New Year. The hotel has a roof top garden which we had booked out all for ourselves. Not that it was a small event – the numbers really added up with the players and team hangers on, the WAGs and families nearly all in town for the last test and all the Cricket Australia officials and functionaries who are happy to associate with the team now we’re winning.
With practical considerations meaning the team hotel is close to the SCG rather than the harbour, the actual fireworks were a little distant when it came time to join in the “oohing and ahhing.” After the 9 pm fireworks [Ed.Which were a bit lame, to be honest], the group thinned out as the kids went down to bed leaving the players and a few WAGs to endure the three hour wait until the main event at midnight. Clean living is good for the body and good for the on-field performances but doesn’t make for good parties – which are only allowed on the night of a win.
The stroke of midnight saw the passing of another year – The Prof and I reflected on the year that was. The disastrous tour of India, the chaos of the Ashes Tour of England, and now the Ashes triumph of the return series that will hopefully put 2013 to bed in the history books as a good year for Australia Cricket. A year we had to have.
On Friday, we’ll see if we can kick off 2014 with more winning ways in the Fifth Test before the hard yards of the South African Tour in February.
As for me, I just want a turn!