Cricket at Newlands – one day before and one after #sandpapergate

Newlands Cricket Ground sits at the foot of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak, clearly one of the most spectacular grounds in the world. Having seen the ground on TV, it was truly a great moment to get tickets to head to the 3rd Test between Australia and South Africa, only I didn’t know of the pending controversy to follow from the infamous Day 3 ball tampering incident which would cost Australia its Captain, Vice Captain, opening batter and the coach!

I secured tickets for Day 2 a few days before flying back to Cape Town and took some of the team from the office for a day of beer, banter and cricket. A great day was had, with plenty of the above being had…the entire day was like a dream, sitting on the boundary watching test cricket in this amazing setting, and half of my time was spent grabbing shots of the awesome view around me.





The start of the day saw me have a chat to Tim Paine, who in just 48 hours time would become our new test captain, and after the match Shane Warne, who was casually strolling through the carpark until I ‘outed’ him, then he was mobbed..sorry Shane…

Day 3, I wasn’t at the ground but that’s when all the shit happened….so I had to front up again on Day 4, this time in the Standard Chartered Bank Suite…

Whilst we had free drinks, an open bar and food it wasn’t quite the box experience at the MCG or elsewhere, but hey ‘beggers can’t be choosers’ and it was still pretty good, but I did cop it big time from the 100% South African list of guests surrounding me.

I was even heckled all day by a 10 year old boy who gave as good he as got, and until the very end of the day refused to shake my hand despite his dads forceful requests, as he felt I ‘might rub sandpaper on his hands!’ Got to pay that one….






Despite the one and off field dramas, this was still one of the best 2 days at the cricket I have had in a long time, probably due to the company I had there, and the friendly banter from those around me, but the real spectacle was the ground itself…simply amazing…a great small ground to watch cricket from virtually anywhere, and the ever impressive views that form the famous backdrop to the cricket.

What happened at the game is now a part of history, and that’s that, get what you deserve, but this clearly hindered a great couple of days at the cricket. And chatting to Alan Border after the game, he summed it up best when I asked how he was. “Simply gutted and I’ve had better days”, was his response…

Newlands was the winner on the day, and I’m sure it always will be!

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