On my way to VIP Backpackers in Brisbane this morning I drove through Wooloongabba which was a big mistake – a jam of cars, police, buses and people everywhere. And they were not just ordinary people but oddly dressed people with yellow wigs, huge sombrero hats, yellow shirts or hats, Aussie flags, white zinc and board shorts.
Yep it was the Gabba precinct, Brisbane’s hallowed cricket stadium. So what else could it be but a cricket match? And not just any ordinary cricket match, but the Ashes itself. A lot of my friends went to the opening day yesterday so it has been all the talk in Brisbane of late, on the radio, on the telly, in the streets… cricket fever has hit this country hard! And probably in England too, in fact there quite a few red English shirts in the crowd too, dotted between the yellow and green. And the Barmy Army is here too – England’s patriotic cricket fan base.
If you’re new to Australia or just wondering what all the fuss is about, let me reassure you the Ashes are a big deal – that is for any self respecting Aussie or English person, and anyone else in the cricketing world. So that means also places like New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
What the heck is it?
The Ashes are basically cricket’s most celebrated rivalry between England and Australia and have a tradition dating back to 1882. So maybe you’ll start to appreciate just what is at stake. The Ashes series comprises five Test matches and is held biennially and alternates between the hemispheres.
If you’re wondering where the name came from well, Australia beat England in an 1882 match – Aussie Aussie Aussie!! – and a British newspaper declared English cricket had died that day at the oval and would be affectionately remembered. While it was the ninth test between the countries, it was the first time Australia won and it was the first time England had been beaten by a colony!
Regaining the Ashes
During the next tour an urn containing ashes of cricket equipment was presented to the English captain in their quest to “regain the Ashes” and the urn has been bandied around ever since. Unfortunately the English currently hold the crown thanks to their win in the 2009 series and it’s Australians turn to regain the said Ashes – possibly the world’s smallest cricketing trophy.
Check it out
So now you know all about it, you might like to check it out in these locations over the summer.
First Test: 25-29 November, 2010 (Brisbane)
Second Test: 3-7 December, 2010 (Adelaide)
Third Test: 16-20 December, 2010 (Perth)
Fourth Test: 26-30 December, 2010 (Melbourne)
Fifth Test: 3-7 January, 2011 (Sydney)
Not only will attendance get you some inside knowledge on this odd game, but you could well be part of history. Plus all the stadiums are in VIP locations so you have a fine choice of beds and tours to choose from as well.
Go the green and gold
Enjoy, and don’t forget to wear your green and gold and barrack for Australia!! Sorry, but yes we are more than a little biased in this part of the world.
Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at firstname.lastname@example.org