Six times cricket was all over the news (and it had nothing to do with cricket)
So, word has gotten around that I love cricket on a cellular level. This means that people’ll often come up and say, “hey Nicko, did you hear about that cricket thing that happened yesterday?” Which is fantastic, because it means that I spend a lot of time talking about cricket. But it also means that I hear a lot of “cricket” stories that, well, don’t really include all that much actual cricket.
Here are six times cricket was all over the news… and it had nothing to do with cricket!
#1: Watermelon boy
In season 2015-2016, the Big Bash League reached critical mass. It had always threatened to become something massive, but last summer, the entire nation bought in, peaking on DATE, when eighty-eight thousand people going to the MCG to watch back-to-back mens-and-women domestic T20 cricket matches! It was a triumph of high-quality high-octane competitive cricket, an ambitious concept finally fully recognised by the general public! It was beautiful! And everyone’s key takeaway was *this*:
A kid eating a fucking watermelon, with the skin on, was everyone’s key takeaway from what was a ripping twelve hours of competitive cricket.
Not Luke Wright’s barnstorming century. Not Shabnim Ismail’s match-winning bowling figures of 3/10. Not both the men’s and women’s derby games going down to the absolute wire. Some kid getting too much vitamin C.
And it’s not the first time the BBL has done this, either. It’s got priors. Have you ever heard of…
#2: The Frankenpigeon
In January 2015, the Melbourne Stars were taking on the Perth Scorchers at the MCG, and a full-blooded pull shot from Adam Voges obliterated a poor seagull that was hamming around on the outfield.
On one hand, I can only assume that PETA was furious that an animal had been slaughtered on national television, but on the other hand, it gave us a heartwarming burial broadcast live across the globe.
Touching stuff. Or it would be, if the seagull had stayed dead! Instead, like a really tame version of The Walking Dead – “The Sqwarking Dead” is my work-in-progress name – the Seagull returned to life and swooped Quiney a couple of times in retaliation. Now, it’s a freakin’ mascot!
Oh, and in other news, the Stars beat the Scorchers in a thriller. But whilst we’re on the topic of animals and cricketers…
#3: When Guy Whittall slept with a reptile
Guy Whittall was an allrounder who played extensively for Zimbabwe in the nineties and noughties. Last year, he woke up in the morning, yawned, sat on the side of his bed for a little bit, and walked out of his room for breakfast.
And when his housemaid walked into his bedroom later that morning, she started screaming like she was being murdered. Because inside Guy Whittall’s room was an eight-foot, 165-kilo crocodile, that had spent the night sleeping under his bed.
I like to write segues into these videos to transition from one topic to the next. This one’s gonna come across as a little ham-handed, because I’m gonna segue into talking about literal segways.
#4: Segway to disaster
One of the highlights of cricket coverage in Australia is the incredible steadicam work by the camera operators. Those men and women do fantastic work, skimming around the outfield on their seaways, broadcasting impossibly smooth, cinema-esque footage.
This was all very well and good, until a cameraman accidentally hit Brad Haddin’s discarded helmet, hitting the ground with a colossal “THUD” and nearly trashing thousands of dollars of camera equipment.
It’s not the first time Brad Haddin’s big head has gotten somebody in trouble.
It was big news around the world, and the Channel Nine blokes thought this was hysterical, a bit of accidental physical comedy they could banter about. Which they did! And which lead to this terrible, pitch-damaging decision:
I’ve always said that Heals was destroying international cricket, but I never meant it so literally! But speaking of means of transport… do we all remember when:
#5: When Sachin missed his bus
Yeah, this is a weird one. Sachin Tendulkar, arguably the greatest batsman of the modern age, hit over one-hundred international hundreds whilst carrying the weight of the Indian nation on his shoulders. And throughout that time, he was a bit of a recluse – so imagine the shock of the entire world when he Instagrammed/Tweeted about missing a bus and being stranded in Oxfordshire.
Twitter went in to bloody meltdown as men, women, and children – many of whom were LIVING IN INDIA – tweeted back to say they’d happily give Sachin a lift to London.
Personally, I’m a little shocked Sachin missed a bus, after all, he was such a great timer of drives.
This last one requires absolutely no further information:
#6: Anything Warnie did
From dating Liz to bullfrogging, sending naughty texts to stumping on a balcony, when Warnie’s in the news, so is cricket, by proxy. So, that’s good, I guess? Pity they don’t really talk about the actual cricket.
Hey, have we missed anything on this list? What other times can you think of cricket being all over the news – except it had nothing to do with cricket itself? Let us know in the comments below.