Politics

Cricket 2021: Ashes, Australia Vs England, Beer skolling, crackdown, MCG, Bob Hawke


There’s almost nothing more Australian than spanking the Poms and celebrating with an ice cold beer but the MCG had different plans.

As Australia wrapped up the 2021/22 Ashes series in record time on Tuesday, it was a nearly flawless performance.

Scott Boland wrote himself into Ashes folklore by taking 6/7 in figures more often seen in under-10s matches around the country than on the biggest stage in Australian cricket.

Catch every moment of The Ashes live and ad-break free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.

But while the world piled on England’s insipid performance and slammed its players for leaving Joe Root to field tough questions by himself, a dominant Australia left no shortage of magic moments across the two-and-a-bit day Test.

Australia’s performance was so good, it papered over an issue at the MCG that would have blown up had the on-field action not been so captivating.

A sight as Aussie as smashing the Poms on home soil is crowd members skolling a beer while taking the cricket in. Late Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who had a famous penchant for the amber ale, made it a tradition, downing a beer at the urging of fans at SCG Tests before his death in 2019.

And then there are images like this bloke who went viral at the Adelaide Oval.

But the MCG had reportedly cracked down on beer skolling and beer cup snakes as fans were booted out of the ground by security and Victoria Police.

Perth Now reported a statement from Victoria Police which said: “Skolling of alcohol is associated with intoxication and disruptive behaviour, which can lead to other public order issues. We have a strong focus on the responsible consumption of alcohol to ensure all patrons are able to enjoy the cricket safely.”

But Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy said Victorians deserved to sink a cold one after two years of lockdowns.

“If it was good enough for former prime minister Bob Hawke to skol a beer at the cricket then let’s not go over the top (with rules),” he said on Tuesday.

“If it’s a beer or two to skol, good luck to them. I’m a public schoolboy, I reckon it’s a great thing to do sometimes.”

The Herald Sun also reported “a steady stream of spectators being plucked out of the crowd”.

One man, Nathan Mazza,punted for enjoying his beer too fast, told The Herald Sun: “(The police) just said MCC rules, not our fault, we’ve got to throw you out. Blame it on peer pressure, not me.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reported one fan, Ruben Jamieson, would continue to skol but just keep it quiet.

“If you’re sitting in your seat finishing your drink, surely they won’t kick you out,” the 25-year-old said.

“What are the rules here? Is there a minimum amount of time you have to take to finish your beer? It does seem silly. We’ve been in lockdown for two years and people can’t skol a beer.”

A Cricket Australia spokesperson said: “Our ticketing policy and conditions of entry are in place to encourage the responsible consumption of alcohol and to minimise disruptive crowd behaviour. We want all cricket fans to be able to enjoy a day at the cricket.”

The MCG even replied to a fan asking if it was policy to boot out patrons drinking too quickly.

A popular Instagram page called the28yearoldmale, which boasts over 104,000 followers, posted several videos of fans at the MCG downing beers, including some being booted out.

One of the videos, which also had the fan being escorted out of the ground was captioned: “Dead set, if one more bloke gets tossed out for drinking a middy too fast at the G I’m gonna go BOO NAH NAHHH’s. Get this man back into the ground.”




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