On Friday 19th February, Run Ride Dive treated a friend and myself to Presidential Suite tickets at the T20 cricket (England vs South Africa) in Cape Town via their ticket sponsors, Ticketpro. The tickets included a parking spot at the stadium which would’ve been pretty damn awesome if we had decided to drive.
We thought we should rather Uber so that we can relish in the vibe completely including a few drinks instead, so unfortunately our amazing parking spot went to waste. But, as I always say, rather safe than sorry, as we definitely don’t drink and drive…
Presidential Suite tickets meant, we had to dress up…so we did and to the nines and we looked pretty amazing, if I can say so myself. This of course is after hours of not knowing what to wear and trying on lots and lots of dresses.
We were only notified on the morning of that game itself that we would be in the Presidential Suite, and that means no jeans, which had been the plan! So a quick change to Plan B and we were all set to go and looking good!
The Suite tickets allowed for amazing views over the stadium. Not only did we have prime seating in the open evening air but we had uninterrupted views of the field in the best location as per the photos! Close at hand were copious amounts of food and beverages but we only binged slightly and in a ladylike manner suitable to the occasion we were being treated to. All the effort of getting dressed and then walking to the stadium was offset nicely by the reward of good food and drinks.
Luckily the weather on Friday decided to play ball, as it initially threatened menacingly with rain clouds followed by intermittent sunny patches in the early to mid-afternoon. A fitting display of the indecisive Capetonian weather with literally four seasons in one day!
Having lived in Cape Town for 11 years I’m (somehow) still not entirely used to these moody swings in weather conditions but thankfully the rain cleared in time for the game to start. Being so new to cricket pretty much one of the only things I knew and had realised that the game would be postponed or halted if the weather decided not to comply, which would have been a distinct pity given the great opportunity I had to view my first ever cricket match from the comfort of the 3rd tier Suite at Newlands Cricket Grounds!
I had never been to a cricket match before and literally knew nothing about cricket. I was not quite sure what to expect. I had been told to enjoy the vibe and that T20 is short and sweet and definitely not the same animal as a normal cricket game, which I think is a 5 day event?
My commander in chief (Hi Marcel!) had told me to just go and stop asking questions about cricket. I should just go and have fun and try to take somephotos. Because I am so good at following orders I was not disappointed. I did however need to text my best friend, Allie, a few times to find out what the fundamental elements of cricket called ‘overs’ and ‘wickets’ were.
Once this Cricket101 had been explained the game started to make sense and the level of enjoyment increased. The vibe amongst the crowd was great to experience and was pretty electrifying. During a good play all the supporters would cheer and go wild with emotions resonating throughout the atmospheric stadium. The ending was quite dramatic with everyone on the edge of their seats, especially with the nail-biting possibility that England could beat South Africa . If I remember correctly we had two overs left and needed 21 runs to win, which I’m told is really close.
Clearly the crowd was very nervous throughout these last few moments as everyone was on the edge of their seats and quiet… but luckily we won with a 2 run shot off the final ball.
One of the things I repeatedly asked Allie to explain and learnt thanks to her incredible patience during my confusion, was that an over is when the bowler bowls 6 times to the batsman, and in T20 there are 20 overs, and that’s why the game we watched is called T20 – pretty simple right? Well, when you have no clue about anything, it may sound silly but it’s the little things that help and start making sense… Before this experience of cricket I had defined the game as a bowler bowling the ball and a batsman trying to hit the ball, and I now see that there is more logic involved to this previously mysterious and inexplicable sport. So once I understood that, the game seemed a lot more logical to me
The next thing I learnt, is that a wicket is how the team that is bowling gets the batsman out; and that apparently there are a few ways to do this, the 2 that I can remember are if the ball hits the wicket (which are the little bars behind the batsman) or if one of the bowling team players catches the ball that the batsman hits before it reaches the floor.
Unfortunately I am sure that there is a lot more still to learn about cricket, with one of my friends telling me that it is a mathematician’s game when you consider the dynamics involved within team strategies. The T20 is a much faster and action packed version of cricket, with limited overs that bring the big-hitting batsman to the crease. This often enthrals the crowds with sixes and fours keeping the atmosphere energised and enthusiastic.
I can see that there is a lot more to learn about cricket and I’d be very interested and keen to attend future T20 matches. I do feel if I went to more games I would definitely know more about this sport and appreciate it a lot more. [Hint hint, nudge nudge]
In all seriousness, thank you Run Ride Dive & Ticketpro for this awesome experience! It really was a great evening with friends and I even learnt a thing or two along the way! Excellent! And I have a sneaky little feeling that I will be going to the cricket again in the near future 🙂