Gabbys winter down under Blog 1
Gabby's Trip Down Under
After spending weeks getting everything in place for my season in Melbourne, it nearly all went pear shaped at 6am Sunday morning when I was checking in at the airport and there was no VISA on the system under my name - turns out I had a slight admin error missing out a number from my passport on the VISA application resulting in the airport staff having to call the VISA office in Australia to amend it! Crisis averted! 7 films and 4 naps later I finally arrived in Melbourne!
On the first day, my hosting family, The Parkers, took me up to Sky High at Mount Dandenong to see the whole of Melbourne from the mountain. I've also been told it's even better at night so that's added to the to do list! The club I am playing for is Ringwood CC (The Rams), made up of 3 Women's Teams and 5 Men's teams, massive compared to any clubs I know of in the UK! Wednesday and Thursday's are training nights for the women's squads when I got to meet a majority of the girls for the first time. I'd usually back myself to remember names but with about 30 at once there was no chance (sorry girls!). After ripping a massive hole in the only trackies (and my knee!) I'd bought with me, it was Selection Dinner on Thursday night where all the teams (men and women) come together for a meal and the squads for the weekend are announced. Steak dinner, all the trimmings and ice cream for a £10 is something I'll be suggesting at the first Newport meeting back! After food and the squads were read out , I had to do a Q&A on the mic in front of about 80 people which I will happily never do again!
My host family also run a smaller cricket club called Launching Place CC and asked me to play some men's games for them on a Saturday; and being the badger I am happily agreed to! Our first game was vs Yarra Junction, who were an A Grade side and us only a B Grade side. A lot of men's cricket is played on astroturf pitches out here so you could say it comes on a fair bit quicker with a bit of bounce!! The result didn't go our way but it was expected to be a tough start to the season against a strong opposition.
Sunday was the first Ringwood game vs Coburg in the Premier Seconds Division at Greenvale Park. The pitch (and outfield as my elbows later found out) was solid. Our Skipper won the toss and choose to bat first. I was opening the batting with our skipper Maddie and we got off to a blistering start putting on 50 in about 7 overs. In the 10th over, after a quick drinks break due to a swallowed fly by Maddie, I went next ball for 31 off 26 balls. The next wicket partnership went on to score 170, Maddie scoring 108 and Tess (no. 3) scoring 61 and we ended on 280 off our 45! I've also learnt that "tea" is not quite the same as the UK! There's not a scone or a cuppa in sight! A few early wickets and tight bowling got us off to a great start and the opposition struggled to push on and challenge the total. I got given the chance to bowl and finished with figures of 9-2-2-16, which I was more than happy with considering I'd bowled about 20 overs all season - however the next day it felt like I'd played a 5 dayer! We won by 100 runs which was a great start to our campaign in the One Day competition! The team is a great bunch of girls that I'm looking forward to playing with for the rest of the season and hopefully we can carry on our winning ways throughout the season!
Until next time! (Till then I'll be buying shares in tubi grip for my elbows)