One of the features of this England tour has been the return of test cricket to Eden Park after a break of seven years.
Eden Park. A soulless revamped collection of rugby stands, with the only contrast being that strange Resene mural. Bleak, echoing, concrete Eden Park. Completely unsuited to test cricket.
But the English are in town, and the not totally unreasonable temptation to fleece their travelling fans has meant that test cricket is returning there at the expense of the vastly superior Hamilton’s Seddon Park. The power of the Pound, or more accurately, the Aussie dollar owned by expat accountants working in Sydney.
So that, while not being ideal, is understandable. A test at the end of March at the rugby temple with its embarrassing short boundaries straight. And to prepare for this there were a couple of Saturday night shorter form versions of the game.
The T20 went OK; a range of top-edged sixes possibly even adding to the bravado of that form of the game.
But, from all accounts, it was a complete fail at the ODI last Saturday. Just when you thought everything was going OK under the sun along came … the Fun Police.
The events on the day are best described here.
“I love seeing all the different banners and always marvel at what people come up with. My favourite was ‘BJ or Root?’ It disappeared during the match and I heard someone say it had been confiscated by the Fun Police”
Seriously, a double entendre gets you evicted in 2013? It also turns out that the people dressed as bananas, hippos, bunny rabbits and pigs also got turfed out. 87 evictions with not a single arrest; that’s pretty telling.
Then there was the incident of the inflatable beach ball. It took intervention from Tim Southee to snatch a confiscated ball off a bully in a high-viz vest and return it to the crowd.
But that was before the big menace; paper planes. Imagine that; a day out at the cricket and people had the temerity to throw around some paper planes. Not sure what exact threat they posed but, given the mood of the day, clearly the people throwing those had to head home early.
Even Richard Prosser is probably OK with a bit of paper dart throwing amongst friends.
Parts of this tour are going to be tough enough as it is, and there is the potential for embarrassment in the tests. But this is a tour with a significant travelling fans component to it.
Please New Zealand Cricket, and your hired bully-boys. Give it a rest.