Gabba Test, Australia v India – Day Two: The Old and the New – A Mixed Media Day of Cricket Updates

Watching, or more specifically, keeping track of cricket, has changed dramatically over many years.

Whilst obviously not old enough to have encountered the synthetic broadcasts of Alan McGilvray, my earliest memories of watching cricket are of the pre-Packer days of the ABC having just one camera, so every second over you were looking at a batsman’s bum.

From there, the [r]evolution of cameras at both ends came along, then cameras all around. The Weatherwall with the players comfort level, lunchtime cricket shows, miked up players in the early T20 internationals and names on shirts.

I recall long summers at our fibro beach shack at Blairgowrie as a kid, with no TV, listening to the ABC all day. These were the days when you spotted a bloke on the beach with a transistor radio (look it up kids) you only had to say ‘what’s the score?’ to get the update you needed.

From there, as TV has changed, so has getting updates on the cricket for those of us away from the TV or radio. I recall the famous Langer and Gilchrist run chase vs Pakistan in November 1999 at Hobart, when their unlikely partnership was tracked by a couple of us at work all day, with Rochey and I congregating in the office of Almanac regular, amateur musician and published author T-Bone (our Payroll Manager) to get regular and incredulous highlights on his radio.

When Matt Hayden passed Lara’s world record score against Zimbabwe in Perth, a group of us (at a different company by then) all found a TV on in the large breakout area in our Collingwood offices and cheered him on.

I also recall discovering this wonderful site called (now absorbed into on the World Wide Web (again, kids look it up) that gave ball by ball updates.

So, for those of us unable to spread out on the couch, be there in person or have the radio on due to meetings or painful work responsibilities, grabbing a quick or ongoing glance at the cricket has become easier through the advent of technology, but also equally frustrating compared to watching it live, be it in person or on the screen. Today, I’ll end up using various different pieces of communication and media to stay in touch

I first tune into cricinfo after a two-hour management team meeting to find Hazelwood is not only back bowling, but has picked up Rahane from what they are calling the “best ball of the match”. Despite possible hyperbole, I have to take their word for it.

Mid-way through writing the start of this piece, I again tune in nearing 12pm, to find Watson has got Sharma, with Smith having “taken a beauty …superb catch” and breaking the Haddin domination in the field. I later find out via the Channel 9 sports report in their evening news that it was a brilliant grab.

Relief though, comes in the form of our Christmas lunch at our local; the famous Geebung Polo Club in Hawthorn. Arriving at 12 to beat a rush of bookings they have from 12.30, I ensure the beer garden telly is switched to the Gabba, (although sound off) and settle in for my first dose in ‘live’ cricket watching of the Test’s two days. Food orders are made early, and our teams quickly settle into a virtual BBQ format, with one table being eight of the ladies from the office and our table having the six of us blokes.

The arrival of my veal schnitzel with Turkish coleslaw means I lower my head for a moment to position my plate and miss Watto’s catch off Ashwin, and with expert timing again, I glance at Dhoni’s wafted leave, look to my wallet, depart for the bar, and get there to find the replay of his nick to Haddin on screen and Josh’s debut fivefa being acknowledged.

Fortunately, the conclusion of my meal means I can concentrate and be slightly anti-social with my work colleagues, and I manage to see young Manus continue what I am later informed by ABC radio in the car back to work is a fine trend of subs taking catches at the Gabba (Broad, Nash, Sabburg, etc). Rogers taking Aaron off Lyon completes my session and I am satisfied, both from my meal and having seen success in the flesh, as India’s shaky tail comes-a-cropper again.

After watching classic vision of Gregory Stephen Chappell in the lunchtime show, the drive back to the office sees ABC commentary and Warner flaying boundaries. Yesterday, they mentioned that their statistician noted that this was the first ever test series in Australia where there were four different captains in the first two tests (technically five if you count Haddin). It’s no KFC trivia but it’s good to hear anyway.

Back at work – and in addition to a subtle Green Bay Packers shout-out with Aaron bowling to Rogers – I click refresh on cricinfo to see that Warner has fallen. A rare minor score for the Fast and Furious boy.

I return from a trip to the third floor to catch up with some colleagues to find Watto has been dismissed after a bowling change; again getting a start but no kick-on for the frustrating Nick Riewoldt of Australian cricket. A later replay from Tony Jones confirms it was wasteful. A good over for us from Aaron and Ashwin sees Rogers get a 50 and his strike rate above 70, rarefied air for the steadfast opener.

A colleague drops in for a quick chat, we get talking on a variety of matters, and this distraction clearly has a ripple/butterfly effect up north as I discover Rogers gone to what is termed a “very soft dismissal” on 55. That’s tea and I reward myself with a slice of chocolate cake (the pub didn’t have a desert menu at lunch and the Finance team – including the CFO – have ordered me to get a cake from a nearby shop. The power than comes with having the company credit card!).

Marsh and Smith are steady without being spectacular, then after a quick chat at reception and picking up a car pass for a meeting in the city tomorrow, I return to find Smith has burst free against Ashwin, depositing him for a Mark Nicholas maximum twice in an over!

I depart work for a hair cut, excited as my barber is Pavash, a fantastic Indian bloke who runs a shop near Swinburne, and he is sure to have the cricket on, as he has in previous years. On the drive there, I hear S. Marsh get dropped, Drew Morpheme talking me through it.

Upon arrival, Pavash must have the day off and the TV is tuned to Channel V, and Five Seconds of summer aren’t giving me updates except from wearing their American Apparel undies apparently.

Once the cut is done, I return to the car, and Harsha is updating the day with Clem, and I find one Marsh has replaced another.

The day ends with a quick glance at the sports report, whilst I attempt to completely bugger up a red chicken curry for the family. Australia is delicately placed at day’s end, as are the family after the curry.

I have used 4 different forms of media to stay in touch, including getting a quick update on the iPhone. It’s a long way from synthetic broadcasts and the fibro shack.

Some things change, some stay the same. Day three promises to be interesting.

About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.


  1. It’s been a rapid change in information sharing, hasn’t it Sean?
    Teaching science a few years ago, we (the class) pondered the biggest changes to society due to science in the past 50 years. Medicine and food production were obvious ones. But communication trumps them both, I reckon.
    Imagine having access to the sum total of the world’s information in your pocket.
    It’s science fiction stuff.
    Thanks. e.r.

  2. Not entirely factual Sean. Try bedroom guitarist and self-published pornographer. But thanks for the generous spin on my profile.

    Yes, that was a great day in a Roche’s office. Seared in the memory. Love how Test matches updates on workdays are a tapestry of all the things you experienced yesterday. It’s can sometimes be better than actually being there. Well, so long as your office has a Peter Roche.

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