Eaten Alive By Sydney
February 9, 2010 – 2:49 am | 5 Comments

When the prospect of a shift to Sydney is raised, the doomsayers often rise as well. And they’re nasty! The manner of one’s demise is always different, but the result is always the same – …

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Dean Knows Sport. He’s made a career out of his passion with full body immersion in rugby, cricket, rugby league, netball, basketball, motor racing and tennis. Now, if only he could get the Foxtel remote off the kids.

Home » Deano's Sport, Featured

Fans Of The Big Bash

Submitted by on February 8, 2012 – 11:32 amNo Comment

As Sydney newbies it is sometimes hard to get parochial about the city’s and state’s sports teams (a long-term affinity with the NSW Blues Origin side being the notable exception despite their lack of recent success).

Years of following and supporting teams ‘back home’ can’t be brainwashed away overnight and forging new bonds requires an organic emotional attachment, not a forced marriage.

Or so I thought. That way of thinking was smashed out of the park by David Warner and Chris Gayle as cricket’s Big Bash League became the hit of the summer in our household, instantly engaging my 7-year-old and 4-year-old sons with its multi-media approach and non-stop on-field action. Suddenly, they were connected with their city, part of a tribe, in a way we hadn’t experienced before.

The relationship started late in 2011. Just as all the other channels were mothballing top-rating shows and overdosing on ‘end of year’ specials a consistent 7pm BBL start time during the Festive Season provided a resort island in a sea of repeats.

The coverage was refreshingly candid and insightful, no doubt because it was targeting mums and new fans as much as the traditional cricket follower. The boys’ cricketing IQ shot up dramatically, with frenzied on-field action providing accelerated learning of cricket’s delights and idiosyncrasies when compared to its ancient father, the 5-day test.

When we attended the Sydney Thunder’s home match against the Melbourne Renegades just before the New Year the boys became Chris Gayle-crazy as the left-handed opener smote 6 after 6. Thankfully, tired lads headed home just before the former West Indian captain was dismissed and the Thunder imploded to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

We hadn’t bought a neon green wig in support of the Thunder, but the lack of merchandising didn’t matter. My minnows were hooked…and the free apps reeled them in.

The official BBL version and Fox Sport’s Foxtracker have been mines of information for iPad-savvy youngsters. My Gen Z boys have devoured every section, leaving no area left unswiped or untapped as they have watched video, read news, poured over statistics and answered every survey question.

Pleasingly, their fascination with the BBL hasn’t turned them into couch jockeys. In fact, playing cricket in the backyard has become a daily addiction and I’ve been blown away by the skills and confidence they have developed.

There were some teething problems around ‘who’ was facing first and how long people batted for, but we addressed the issues by creating our own Backyard Big Bash which gave everyone an equal amount of batting and bowling time.

We now have 20 rules that encompass run-scoring, dismissals, disputes, cheerleading and catering. The most feared rule of all is Rule 14: Anyone caught by Nana has to rub her feet.

You can scope out the rules – with images, by crikey – on the Facebook community page at Backyard Big Bash Rules.

The inaugural BBL may have finished and our Thunderers may have come last, but at least our passion for a local team has been ignited and we’re getting a real handle on Australia’s national sport and a psyche that ensures even a non-contact sport has a description like ‘bash’ in it.


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