The first morning of a Test Match. One of life’s great pleasures. Be it the first or the the last Test in the series, that opening morning, regardless of the situation, regardless of what has happened before, is always a fresh start.

Today, once I can rouse this remiss rabble of rural roomies, we’re off to the Sydney Cricket Ground. For me, Sydney is not a patch on Melbourne, for reasons I will doubtlessly go in to another time. However, one thing the New South Wales capital has on its Victorian counterpart is that it has the better cricket ground. Sure, the iconic G, Melbourne Cricket Ground is impressive enough. A feat of enterprise and engineering, it’s modern coliseum-like structure is the pride if the city and quite rightly so. But, for me, despite its name, it’s not really a cricket ground.

The SCG? Now we’re talking. This is a proper cricket ground.


With the recent restructuring, it will look a different ground to the place I visited last year. A different, but everything else is the same. It’s the same quirks and customs the world over; the excited chatter, the over-zealous security checks, the first glimpse of the turf, the looking for clues as to the starting XI, the getting-to-know-you with the strangers around you, working out how much of the day you’re likely to be frying or freezing, the establishment of the proximity of the nearest bar.

It’s one of the reasons I do what I do. A raison d’être. Yet, due to the scheduling of the ICC’s future Tours fixtures programme, despite it being so early in the calendar year, this is the last away Test Match for England for the best part of fifteen months.

Which is fantastic for my career progression, for getting money put away for a house, for all the things a chap in his mid-thirties should be doing. Except, well, let’s be honest I’ll be counting the days until I get to do this all again, probably at Sabina Park in Jamaica in April 2015.

I’ll grow up one day. I will, honestly.