The Roar
The Roar

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Crowd watching at the SCG

Expert
8th January, 2012
3

Two guys on the concourse just below our sun-drenched second tier perch wore watermelons as hats. One of them, quite suitably inside the gladiatorial arena that is the SCG, carved two deep arcs into the front of his fruit helmet, leaving the middle section untouched to form a nose guard.

Indeed, a battle with the sun was underway.

As the Australian cricket team unleashed hell on a rather reluctant line-up of Indian batsmen this Second Test in Sydney, deflating their proud fan-base before they could even swell to a roar, I took to a tube of 30-plus sunscreen like Jamie Oliver to Creme Fraiche.

Lathered up and adequately loaded with ale, my mind wondered from the lopsided match unfolding across the SCG’s immaculate lawn and turned to the array of hats in the crowd below.

There were some standard toppers among the mob, some of them even in super-fan baggy green, but also loosely fastened trucker caps, crisp sticker-labelled baseball caps, and front row corporate caps.

That was just the start: there was an array of sombreros – which seemed most useful – as well as umbrella hats, bowlers, boaters, Panamas, ten gallons and those newly fashionable Fedoras, which are surely better suited to wooing women in swish nightclubs than serving a purpose in a steaming hot stadium.

Altogether, the colour and variety of headwear – which included bandannas, turbans and sweat-soaked towels too – made for as much a spectacle for the part-time cricket fan as did the play on the field.

But perhaps top gong – should the International Cricket Council come to its senses and acknowledge the creativity of its summer patrons – goes to the quartet of WWF impersonators who apparently thought there was a Royal Rumble slated, not a cricketing test match.

While a couple of these brave souls donned full-face retro-style wrestling masks, the type that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tarantino flick, one of them was a dead ringer for the Ultimate Warrior – blond mullet, tassels and all.

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It was a commendable effort, especially as he and his mates resided next to a fervent Indian contingency disappointed with the lack of runs being accumulated on this otherwise pristine day.

Perhaps the Indian squad could have recruited the Warrior to bring some flair and ferocity to their play. Though I’m certain the green cycling shorts he was sporting were not regulation issue, nor socially acceptable in more sober circles.