Women's Cricket in Australia -
Playing the Game
Julia's 1998 Ashes Tour Diary...Pt 1V
DAY 44 - 13 August 1998
A miserable day today with rain stopping play for the day at tea. After having England declare at 8/320 we were off to a strong start before Belinda Clark was dismissed for 54. Lisa Keightley is 61 overnight with Joanne Broadbent on 2.
One of the highlights today was the bowling of Lisa Keightley. Not your first choice to bowl, Lisa was handed the ball to just see what would happen. After the first over being a maiden, Lisa grew in confidence and began sledging other bowlers in our team. That was until she attempted a bouncer and was promptly smashed to the boundary and relieved of bowling duties for the day and probably tour.
It was also revealed to me today that in her excitement and enthusiasm to get on the field yesterday, Melanie Jones forgot to take her thigh pad off after batting. At times Ive wondered if I should wear a thigh pad when keeping but a covers fieldsman?
Since being in England weve noticed a few things that have seemed just not right. One being when marking centre, they draw a line on an angle pointing to the centre mark instead of just marking the centre mark. The other is whenever they go out to field, they sprint out. This of course prompts smart allic comments like "Theyve forgotten the footy again" and "Carne the Hawks". The latter comment to a lesser degree due to the limited number of Hawthorn supporters on this tour. (Go the Blue Boys!)
DAY 45 - 14 August 1998
With the loss of overs the day before, our chances of getting a good lead quickly to declare again seemed slim. We did eventually declare at 5/302 with Karen Rolton 62 not out. The English were chasing well at 0/62 when rain stopped play for the final time and stumps was called.
Our warm-ups are becoming more and more innovative as time goes on and we decided to warm up by kicking our miniature Wallabies rugby ball around. Our physio, Lisa Ross, for some reason when a ball comes out is immediately attracted to the scene. This attraction should be left as a spectator one rather than a participation one as the first mark went straight through her hands and into her face. Jane Franklin had been considering pushing "Betty" in the back but thought better of it. Lisa is a danger to herself without the help of others.
We met up with a few of the English girls later at the local Irish Pub where there is a giant game of Jenga. Of course the rivalry between the two teams extended to off the field with the evening ending up a 1 all draw much to the delight of the Poms.
DAY 46 - 15 August 1998
Our trip to Rochdale began with the staff of the Green Park Hotel all coming out onto the front steps and waving us off. It was a beautiful moment and most of us were deeply touched by this. Excuse me for a moment.....
After the tears had dried we arrived at Rochdale about an hour later. Melanie Jones managed to fit in a 20 minute sleep and most of us managed to catch up on letters and diary entries. An afternoon trip to Manchester proved to be long and uneventful. The evening before was starting to take its toll and most people were getting tired and grumpy, especially our Fitness Adviser, Sally Bailey. It was great to see Sally suffering as this is usually how we feel when Sally is taking us for a fitness session.
The mood didnt improve later that evening with the troops arriving back from a poor feed at the pub to discover John & Julies Wedding Reception taking place directly below about 8 of the rooms. From the sounds of things we were actually at the set of The Wedding Singer II due to the bad singing, numerous arguments and seemingly endless supply of 80s music. A very restless night.
DAY 47 - 16 August 1998
The word "phwoah" was been added to the Oxford dictionary and has brought much discussion into the Australian Camp. The word "phwoah" is defined as a sexual interest and this is where I would like to argue this point as I did use the word in reaction to Melanie Jones taking her shoes off. We are now campaigning for the word "kwoah" to be added to place the meaning of "phwoah".
In reference to Day 42 with my philosophy on the English language, I would like to add that this is a general rule. The groundsman here has told us that the grund will possibly fled and we probably wont pay at the door. No that cant be right.
Training came and went as did the Unit work. Unfortunately our mood stayed fairly constant - bad. Lack of sleep and fitness work dont really mix. The news of a function that night went down surprisingly well until Lyn Larsen realised we were all actually asleep.
The function was great with drinks galore, fantastic food, dancing and everyone having a good time. Then we turned up. I think we were an excuse for a party because it didnt seem to matter that we had to play a game of cricket the next day or the fact that we were all sitting around the dance floor dumbstruck as members of the local cricket club strutted and pelvis thrusted their way around the dance floor to such classics as YMCA, Grease Lightning and the Time Warp. As tempting as it was to get up and shake our stuff, we held off and waited for the two biggies, Nutbush City Limits and the Bus Stop which never came about. What sort of disco are they running here. At about 9.30pm we left to the peace and quiet of our Hotel only to be greeted by Elvis at the front door. 4 hours later most of us were just starting to drift off to sleep with Blue Suede shoes and Jailhouse rock still ringing in our ears from the Elvis Tribute Party going on downstairs.
DAY 48 - 17 August 1998
We woke this morning to see puddles of water lying everywhere and the groundsmans prediction of flooding had come true. Pack the cards and gameboy.
It was for Fitzy an unfortunate day for an article about her to come out, which she says, misquoted her on several occasions. The article basically said that Fitz was the brains trust behind anything slightly comical and were just pawns in her never-ending world of practical jokes. Due to our state of boredom, we picked constantly on Fitzy saying how funny she was and if shed though of any new pranks lately. You old prankster you. Boom Tish.
An article was also read during our many hours to fill, regarding a game being played at the venue of our 3rd Test in Worcester. It described how thousands of flying ants were in the middle of their mating season with the female flying 50 feet high in the air with the male in pursuit. Once doing the deed mid-air they drop to the ground and interrupt play. Because the game was an underage game, the game was called off due to the players not being old enough to witness this sort of carry-on.
It was also discovered today that Karen Rolton had managed to persuade the Head Chef to carry her laundry down to the laundrette about a kilometre away thus making him late for a wedding reception he was supposed to be catering for. Oh well, at least Rolts got her washing done.
The day was eventually called off at 3.30pm with most people returning to the Hotel for a half hour run.
DAY 49 - 18 August 1998
The day being a better one, we all headed to the ground with high hopes of play. The ground was still reasonably wet but deemed playable. Presidents XI (all put on the lie detector before play) won the toss and put us into bat. Karen Rolton smashed 144 from 161 balls to be caught trying to get to 150 in one hit over deep mid ons head. Should have stuck to the usual theory of two hits. Jodi Dannatt also batted well for 74 not out. We ended up declaring 4/286 after 69 overs. The Presidents XI finished the day at 2/40 from 40 overs.
Our afternoon teas so far have been great with Custard tart, Apple Pie, chocolate cakes and vanilla slice. It has taken a bit longer to warm to the Pork Pie though. Most of us are also hoping for a short trip to India on the way to loose any excess luggage on ourselves that it.
A long day and most of us keen to hit the sack.
DAY 50 (NOT OUT) - 19 August 1998
I forgot to mention the other day that Tony our Bus Driver has been replaced by Dave due to requirements which state you cant work for more than 2 weeks without a 3 day break. Wed all warmed to Big Tone so we were sad to have to break in a new bus driver with only a week to go.
The day was a long and slow one with the Presidents XI being dismissed for 128. We then enforced the follow-on to have them at the end of the day 6/121. The Captain of the Presidents XI, Debbie Stock, made some entertaining batting in both innings, smashing us to all parts of the ground. Debbie was a member of the 1993 World Cup Squad and is known as an aggressive batsmen. She is also known for her uncanny resemblance to Hagars wife. While batting, it was noticed that a picture of Baby Spice was on the splice of the bat. Unable to contain my amazement at this phenomena, I questioned Debbie about whether she was looking to replace Ginger in the Spice Girls. She said she was but as Fat and Old Spice. TIP: Avoid Crop tops.
Karen Roltons innings of 144 earned her the player of the match award. Organisers were however uncertain who to give the award to as Karen Rolston, Kim Rolton and Carol Rolton had all bowled, batted and fielded. (Im using the word fielded very loosely there as Rolts was spotted on numerous occasions on one of the benches around the boundary).
Rolts also has this obsession with keeping her socks up and for this purpose has "sockmates". Rolts has sworn black and blue they are only for cricket but Im sure I saw her buying a drink for them at the disco the other night.
We are currently on the bus to Worcester and Fitzy has just purchased a double cassette of the Greatest 80s Hits Ever. Got to go! Ah-Ha is on.
DAY 51 - 20 August 1998
An early night and a bit of a sleep-in, most people were starting to pep up and get in good spirits. That was until we attempted to find the laundry. Lisa Ross was the first victim, with us finding her wandering the streets, dirty laundry over one shoulder and her spare hand ripping her hair out. The laundry was eventually found by the rest of the team with Lisa having to wear team uniform for another day.
Due to our two day game we opted for a light training session for an hour and a half. Charlie Masons groin injury from the 2nd Test hasnt mended and therefore Jane Franklin will be making her Test Debut tomorrow. Good Luck Janie!
DAY 52 - 21 August 1998
As we get closer to the end of the tour, most of us are keen to just get on with job, win and go home. Our chances of that increased today as we had England 6/183 overnight. We did give England a let off with two early dropped catches of Jan Brittain and Barbara Daniels. We did however manage to dismiss Charlotte Edwards early with a sharp catch by Karen Rolton in gully. Rolts has got the afternoon teas to thank for this catch and the ball ended up wedged in between her stomach and arm.
Our run of LBW dismissals is still 8-0 to the umpires and our goal is to get one before the end of the series. Cathryn Fitzpatrick finished the day with 3/70 from 30 overs and with the Poms with 180 runs from 112 overs, we are expecting tomorrow to be another slow start.
Dinner was organised for us at the Hotel and a reasonably early night after a long day in the field.
DAY 53 - 22 August 1998
This morning I woke to the sounds of my roomie, Lisa Keightley, vomiting. I had been trying to convince myself that the uncomfortable feeling in my stomach would pass, but the sounds eminating from the bathroom confirmed my worse fears.
While Lisa took to the physiotherapy room for a quiet lie down, the rest of us tramped out onto the field to try to dismiss the rest of the English Team. Of course the first catch had to come to me, with my wobbly legs on, to run back 10m to catch a top edge from Fitzy. This was decidedly the end of my effective participation for the rest of the day. We dismissed the Poms for 243 just after the hour and prepared to chase. Lisa by this stage, had made a slight recovery and headed out to bat with Belinda. After a good start with Lisa and Bill both reaching their 50s, Lisa decided to open up and was caught first ball, to her delight.
Soon after Lisa and I went back to the Hotel and left the team to finish the day at 1/279 from 75 overs. Belinda Clark finished the day at 128 not out with Karen Rolton on 88 not out. Rolts leaving another hand in her wake, this time as she smashed a ball back to Karen Smithies, which then required ice for the rest of the day. Rolts has become known as the handbrake,
1. because she has injured so many hands with her hard hitting and,
2. because she runs between wickets like she still has her handbrake on.
The rest of the team headed to the local Mexican restaurant for a change from the pasta we seem to be eating every night. Ill give you the tip, Im over pasta!.
DAY 54 23 August, 1998
As it seems to happen, whenever we get a sniff of a victory, it rains. We thought we might be able to get on when we first arrived at the ground but apparently the light reading was too low to begin play. So begin the games. It started with some band music and bad dancing, then progressed to wrapping Charlotte Edwards car with toilet paper (her car would be the one with CHARLOTTE EDWARDS INTERNATIONAL CRICKETER written on it) and then progressed to spying on the English as they sang their song for tomorrow nights final dinner. But the highlight of the morning was dressing up our physio, Lisa Ross and Fitness Adviser, Sally Bailey in our gear and sending them out for a bat in the pouring rain. Lisa, never failing to entertain (accidentally of course), attempted in one of her many shots a pull shot in which she landed fair on her backside in probably one of the wettest areas of the field.
The game was eventually called off for the day at 2.15 pm and most of us made an appointment for see Dr Dolittle at 4.00 pm while the rest of the team packed and filled in the rest of the afternoon. All, that is, except Charlie Mason and Jodi Dannatt who have come down with the dreaded lurgy that Lisa and I suffered yesterday. Hopefully they will be better for tomorrow.
DAY 55 24 August, 1998
Today was the longest day we seemed to have experienced with us attempting to win the 3rd Test Match and then us attempting to realise our 2 month tour had finally come to an end.
We woke with the sun shining outside to have it gone only an hour later replaced by a steady shower of rain. Rain only delayed play for about 20 minutes and we were soon on our way to about 180 lead. Rolts smashed her way to 176 not out with her last 50 coming off 28 balls. Belinda Clark was dismissed for 136. Melanie Jones spent most of her time at the crease running to the pavilion to collect a glove for each hand rather than 2 for her left hand.
With only 2 sessions to dismiss England, we set about the task with Fitzy betting a spectator we could dismiss Jan Brittin for under 20. Jan Brittin clean bowled for 6 by Fitzy. If only wed needed a bottle of red for maturation earlier. A couple of dropped catches later, one which actually passed Joanne Broadbents chest, and back again, we managed to have England at 6/190 at the end of the days play. Brogs did make amends for the dropped catch by taking a Tony Modra style mark on the boundary from a full toss by Belinda Clark. Shes still trying to claim it was a set up.
The evening consisted of a formal dinner at the ground followed by a night on the town. Before leaving for our night of release, both teams participated in a team song. Naturally the Poms did their song to Spice Girls Stop. It mainly sledged Fitzy for being grumpy, bowling too fast because our slips couldnt catch and basically sledging themselves for having to chase some Aussie leather around the park. A very well put together and professionally done song. God I feel like Johnny Young. It then came to our turn and as usual we were as blunt as a hammer and sledged each member of the team individually to the music men. All went down as was hoped and everyone left better for the laugh. A great way to cap off the tour with everyone okay with each other and looking forward to the night out. The only negative side of the night was the decision to have the Ashes remain in England as no one had actually won them. Our argument was that we had won the last Test Match against England in 1987 and that the series had just been renamed rather than created. Oh well. Well just have to try that bit harder and win next time.
Overall a great tour which everyone would say has brought us home better cricketers. Experiencing all types of conditions and all types of cricket has really been an eye-opener for us and we are also looking forward to using our new found skills in the up coming National League.
Catch ya next tour.