Australia v New Zealand – Second Test, Day 2: How to (almost) ruin a day at the cricket

At 6pm today I was left wondering what questions are asked when applying for the position of security person these days. Especially one chosen to control us at sporting venues.


Are you able to assert yourself when trouble looms?
Are you able to control an unruly person?
Are you able to intimidate when the situation arises?
Are you able to sense that danger is imminent?
Do you think you look authoritative?


Boxing Day was bad enough. But today, the second day, security went overboard. These men and women in their uniforms of bright yellow, with a touch of dark blue, were in their element, boosting their overblown egos and asserting their pathetic rules and regulations on a happy–go–lucky crowd of cricket lovers, doing nothing at all out of the ordinary.


Strutting up and down the aisles, chests puffed out, two of them stopped not far from us and approached a young family sitting in the Dry Area reserved for the little kids dressed in their bright purple Cricket Blast (formerly Milo Kids) shirts. The female decided to interrogate; the male then took over. They kept pointing to a bat. A minute later, another two appeared – again, a man and a woman. All four of them now pointing at a bat. Surrounding parents became involved. Voices were raised, and heads rocked back and forth. “It can’t be what I think it is”, I said to Marshall. They were complaining about a normal sized cricket bat being there amongst all those small kids and their families. “But we’ve just bought it at the shop”, I managed to hear. Then out of nowhere, a big boss security man, chest exploding with authority, appeared out of nowhere, grabbed the bat from a woman’s hand, and off he went.

What on earth did they think was going to happen? The bat would suddenly become a dangerous weapon? It was one of the most pathetic things I’ve seen at a cricket match. And I certainly hope the young family were able to retrieve their prized possession.

And then there was an MCG employee – one of the ones who shows you to your seat. Not long after play had begun, she started. “We don’t allow standing in seated areas,” she blurted to three or four five–year–olds, doing nothing more than having a bit of fun, jumping up and down – not even on their seats. They obviously didn’t have a clue what she was on about and continued standing instead of sitting. She repeated herself, this time so the parents could hear. Poor kids! Half an hour later, as people stuck in the middle of a row that holds 20 people climbed over to the back row (where no-one was sitting) so they could go to the toilet with their kids, the control freak turned up again. “We do not have climbing of seats here at the MCG,” she howled, much to the amazement of all of us. A couple of rebellious teenagers took great delight in doing just the opposite, only to be told off again when they returned. They just giggled behind her back.

At the apparent unruly time of day at the cricket, 5pm, the control freaks were now well and truly out in force. Oh, how they must love that feeling of power: that intimidatory, authoritarian sense of control that, maybe, just maybe, gives them some sort of distorted positive energy that they don’t have in their ordinary daily lives. Maybe?

Compared to Boxing Day itself, today’s 5pm spectacular was quite mild. There were only five or six snake–like viewings of stacked empty plastic beer cups – 20 at the most – being held aloft for all to see. The yellow and dark blue security vultures were quickly on hand, grabbing the cups and leading the offenders back up the aisle to god knows where.

On Boxing Day, those sculptured masterpieces of plastic were on full display and meandered across eight to ten seats, held up by loving hands so as not to destroy the curves of the snake. They were everywhere – The Ponsford Stand, the Great Southern Stand from one side to the other – and they did no harm. The people creating them did no harm either (unless the alcohol they had consumed could be considered harmful). But, on cue, the authorities turned up and did what they seemingly take great pleasure in doing: ruining the fun and marching their captors up the aisle to god knows where, to the booing of the crowd.

I’ve never taken that much notice of authorities’ behaviours in past years, but this Boxing Day I was horrified when this young upstart of a security woman took great delight in going up to the metre–long snake of plastic and severing it with all her might, right in the guts. I was really pissed off!

Then, at the same time today, 5pm, the cops had to show their hand too. Next to the sight board there were about 30 New Zealanders, mostly male, and presumably mostly a little intoxicated. That’s all though. They were cheering, clapping, singing their song, and doing absolutely no harm at all. But the cops thought otherwise. Eight of them surrounded the guys, and remained there until the close of play – one hour later. It was quite pathetic really.

An ad appeared around the ground on the small screens throughout the day. It said: Call 0419……to report anti–social behaviour.

Perhaps I should have done just that. “I would like to report all those in authority…..”

May the cricket continue in the same vein as the past two days. Long live Test cricket!




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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. Well said Jan. Perhaps you should have dialed the number to report the bat thief. Those actions certainly meet any reasonable description of antisocial behaviour.
    As for the intoxicated, well, there I feel the authorities are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If they act they are over-officious and lack cultural awareness. but if they fail to act, the ensuing fracas will be all over the media with appropriate tutting about the fall of Western Civilization.
    Best solution is a little give and take. Often we can find a cure without ejections, tone-policing and kill-joy games. During the last session yesterday, empty seats in front of us were taken up by 4 rowdy fellows, enjoying the day at high volume. Sadly, they had also not been introduced to the Rexona! I fixed the problem by moving a few seats away and downwind!

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Spot on Jan, the “officialdom” at the cricket can be way over the top. Your story of the bat shows how ridiculous they can be. Hope they got it back.

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