7 January, 2014. 12:34
IMRAN GASHKORI | Editor-at-large | Contact
It’s day two of the fourth test in this summer’s India/Australia epic. Twelve men have the attention of the nation as they battle it out on the pitch. The game is cricket and cricket fans are like no other.
The crowds and cameras are focused on twelve men wearing the iconic baggy green – twelve men with millions both here and in the subcontinent watching them battle it out.
While the Baggy Green is iconic to Australia sport, only a select few can wear one. But what about the others? Many know they will never wear one. Many know they are destined to a life where their involvement in the game comes from the stands. What do these men and women wear?
They dream to wear the cream.
Over eight hundred men and women have turned up to the SCG today to dressed as the iconic cricket commentator, Richie Benaud. Cream coloured jackets, silver wigs and foam microphones in hand. “The drunkening of the Richies” is an annual occurrence for day two of the Sydney test and one that made headlines last year, when several ringleaders from the “Richies” convinced former Prime Minister Bob Hawke to binge drink in front of live cameras.
But while Australia faces a great sporting challenge on the hallowed turf… Several hundred metres away, the administrators of The Sydney Cricket Ground are reportedly in overdrive. With the same 800 thirsty punters making runs back and forth to bars in both the Clive Churchill and Brewongle stands, it seems the demand for warm mid-strength beer is rapidly overlapping supply.
SCG Spokeswoman, Sarah Storeman, has said that the organisers could have never expected the damage that 800 “Richies” could accrue in the stadiums south end.
“Keg after keg after keg after keg!” she said, in obvious distress – “they are all dressed the bloody same so there is no possible way we could implement liquor licence on serving the same people repeatedly”
“We ran out of XXXX before lunch! They are really getting stuck in. We have had to resort to moving full-strength kegs over from the members. Hopefully the we can nuke them with some heavier stuff… I’m sure it’ll slow them down”
It would appear the Richies have been drinking for quite some time, with the keenest members arriving at Paddington’s Unicorn Hotel at 5:00 am this morning for a “warm up”
One particular “Richie”, 24-year old Henry Wells, has spoken to the Advocate this afternoon and stated that things were running quite smoothly while the mob of silver haired punters were starting at the Unicorn – that was, until a surprise visit from the iconic Richie Benaud impersonator – Billy Birmingham, also known as ‘The 12th Man’
“It was like the lads had just seen Elvis. They went absolutely f**king mental. We all worship Richie Benaud and Billy Birmingham was the closest we were getting to him – you have no idea. Billy’s visit really set the tone for the day. Since we arrived in here bay 27 – I’ve drunk more shitty SCG beer today than any of my other visits combined. I don’t care how light it is… It’s the bloody cricket!”
While the SCG staff assure both the media and the drunken mob that things are under control, Sarah Storeman has said she prays they don’t turn up for day three.
“We are on the phone to Carlton United and Lion Nathan… we are desperately trying to get some trucks here in case this happens for the rest of the week. We might be able to get through today but that’s about it.”
Several of the “Richies” have confirmed they fully intend to show up tomorrow.