I certainly didn't intend it to be nearly a month between blog postings - sorry!
Things have been very busy here - initially, I was helping out at work with our earthquake response, which has led to late evenings and a Sunday shift; and then the hockey season restarted (I hadn't realised I was quite unfit), and the publicity communications for our orchestra concert needed to be sent out, and there may have been a few games of online Scrabble in there, too...
But, last weekend, John and I ended up in the Basin, where we watched a charity Twenty 20 cricket match between the Wellington Legends and the Christchurch Invitation XI to fund raise for the Christchurch Appeal. Cricketing stars, both national and international (such as Shane Warne) took part, as did a whole host of others, such as Tana Umaga, an ex All Black captain, who certainly proved his sporting talents, with one wicket being taken off of his bowling, catching another whilst fielding, and then getting two boundaries (I can't remember now whether they were sixes or fours), Russell Crowe, who coached the Christchurch side.
The day was absolutely gorgeous, and they allowed families onto the pitch to play before the main event:
The TV cameras were, of course, out in force - this was being broadcast live.
I tried to find where they were selling the T-Shirts, but the stand was hidden by the crowds.
A lot of the action happened at the other end of the pitch to us - but we did get to see a lot of people's backs!
And we were close enough to the TV screens and scoreboard to not be missing out on any of the action
Wellington were in black, Christchurch in red, and the umpires were in yellow:
I'm quite proud of this action shot...
We got a treat just before the end of the first innings when the game was interrupted by the Stig walking onto the field, with the full "Some say..." build up (which I can't now remember!)
and revealed himself to be New Zealand fast bowler Andy McKay...
The poor batsman who was facing him decided that he would be safer wearing the Stig's helmet
but didn't last long, as that meant he couldn't actually see what was coming at him!
There is an online video of the over here
During the break, our Prime Minister, John Key, got to face Shane Warne, with $100,000 at stake - if John got a boundary, then Fujitsu would donate that amount to the Christchurch appeal. There was a predictable amount of 'sledging' beforehand, and it was played for the crowds; he did however, get three boundaries off of the over, which started with an underarm bowl and Shane claiming he'd got confused after going 10 pin bowling the day before... Ian McKellan was umpiring, in a deck chair, and one of the fours did very narrowly miss him - I expect that Peter Jackson had a few conniptions at that!
There's a video of the over here
I did take a few shots through our video camera, but I am having a few issues with editing it all together, so that may take a while to come through...
The Wellington batting then started
with Martin Freeman (who will be playing Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming Hobbit film) as one of the umpires. He is on the left here - you can see why he might have been chosen for the part of the Hobbit!
Midway through the innings, the announcer mentioned that Ian McKellan was one of the team going round with a bucket, and he was then picked up on the big screen. I thought to myself, "I recognise that pagoda", and turned round...
I didn't go up and bother him - he was surrounded by people for well over half an hour, and genuinely taking his time to talk to everyone who came up to him.
Overall the event raised over $500,000, and was the best cricket match I have seen (just pipping England beating Australia with the last ball about six years ago!) - the weather was perfect, the atmosphere electric and just great fun to be a part of.