As I mentioned in a previous post Allyson, Matt and I attended a charity cricket match in Launceston during our trip to the north of Tasmania. The match was to benefit The Ponting Foundation set up by former Australian Cricket Captain Ricky Ponting and his wife Rihanna. The foundation raises money to help children with cancer in Tasmania, Ricky is from Tasmania and still likes to support his home state even though he no longer lives here. Launceston is his home town so the stadium there, currently known as University of Tasmania (UTAS for short) Stadium, was the venue for the game. Most major men’s cricket matches are played in Hobart but when Ricky retired from cricket a few years ago a tribute match was played here featuring many well known cricketers and former cricketers and a few footballers as well. It was a huge success and also a lot of fun. I should know as I was there.
This particular cricket match had a football flavour to it as it was the North Melbourne AFL club who play some matches in Hobart versus the Hawthorn AFL club who play some matches in Launceston. Ricky, a North Melbourne supporter, captained that team while former cricketer and Hawthorn supporter Damien Fleming captained the other. There were a few retired footballers and Peter Siddle who has played cricket for Australia included in the teams.
Allyson, Matt and I arrived early for the match after a three hour drive from Hobart through what seemed like endless road works. We were happy to buy some food and relax in our seats which gave us an excellent view. There was another cricket match on when we arrived so we had a chance to set up our cameras ready for when the main match began.
Later on the two teams came out to warm up and we took quite a lot of photos. I am not in the least bit interested in AFL and especially not in football teams from Melbourne so I did not take that many of them but concentrated on the three cricketers which soon became five cricketers when two of our favourite Hurricanes players, George Bailey and Tim Paine, arrived. We wondered why they had come in their uniforms and why they were having Go Pro cameras strapped to their heads. It turned out that they were to be the umpires.
I won’t describe the match in detail but let’s say there was some very entertaining cricket played, not all of it good and some very close, some might say dubious umpiring decisions at times. However, the umpires word is law so if the batting team is four runs short and the umpire says that the last ball of the match is a no ball and must be bowled again who are we to argue? I really could not tell from where I was sitting if it was or not but as it resulted in a win for Ricky’s team I am not complaining.
It was not the easiest photography to do because of the long shadows the stadium threw across the ground at the evening went on. This proved quite a problem to me as I had not used my 100-300 zoom lens at twilight before. Allyson’s lens seemed to cope with it better. I have used some of Allyson’s photos here as credited.
After the presentation of the trophy the players all stayed around signing autographs and having their photos taken with the fans. When we left more than half an hour after the match ended Ricky and one or two of the footballers were still patiently signing for the few fans that were still there.