It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not the fat guy that supposedly breaks into our homes, watches when we’re sleeping, has done so for years and still has faced less charges than a Hollywood producer. No, I mean it’s the end of Spring in Australia, which means the start of the test cricket season in Australia.
A time of year which unites a population who hate each other for their winter footy allegiances, and a certain free to air TV channel earns three quarters of its ratings for the year. Radios dial in from the moment in the morning that we hit the office or the job site, and we celebrate inappropriately every time a visiting wicket falls.
Cricket brings something out in us down under. We’ve grown up with it from an early age so now we look forward to November when sport becomes a massive part of our culture.
Ignoring the fact that we live in security and our standard of life is significantly better off than half the global population, the cricket season is superficially exemplary of why we’re lucky as country. That we willing choose to put aside or forget about our immediate issues, and we escape. We escape to a cultural alternate reality and we enjoy the luxury that we have as a population.
We sit in nerves as our captain creeps to a score of 97, and lose ourselves in pride and euphoria as we watch him streak towards a match saving century. The sound of “come on!” becomes synonymous with an Australian bowler taking the first wicket of a test. And we sigh profanities when a batsman throws his wicket away cheaply.
This is us. This is Summer Cricket in Australia.