A smashing time despite the rain
I love cricket. But I don't think I've ever watched it as intensely as I did when I was the Basin Reserve Ground Announcer for part of the 2017/18 Burger King Super Smash T20 competition. Obviously not in the picture above - I think of my 3 games 1 of them was rained out.
But the games I actually did work were busy, busy, busy ! I've been involved in cricket games before - at the World Cup in 2015 and outside the ground promoting matches at the beginning of last year but those didn't require the level of total concentration required when you're a GA. I've talked about this before - you are really watching a game on another level. Because, unlike a spectator who is watching in the moment, you need to be anticipating ahead of the moment so you can be ready with the right player name and piece of music for any occasion. That's on top of keeping sponsors happy and pushing all the little announcements that keep a game ticking along. It's definitely not boring.
I'm lucky that I've learned from the best. Mark McLeod and Dom Gibbs have been fantastic GAs and watching the way they keep all the various plates spinning has set me up nicely. I'm still nowhere near those mic maestros but I've got a bit of a pointer along the way.
The other great thing about being up in the announcer's box is the other people you share the box with. Some very knowledgeable people with great insights into the game. The match referees, for example, always have a really interesting perspective on things - during the rain affected game it was really interesting finding out about what conditions actually cause a game to be called off. It was also really cool having Gavin Larsen, ex-Black Cap and current selector, up there. He's a really approachable guy, funny and has an insider's knowledge of cricket in NZ that was fascinating. Helped also he was a boyhood hero of mine.
I think I kept my cool around him.