ACT News


Cricket-mad family ready for One-Day International at Manuka Oval

With a dad born in India and a mum from Sri Lanka things can sometimes get a little heated when it comes to cricket in Akshay Joseph's household.

But the self-confessed "cricket-mad" family is united when it comes to their love of the game.

On Wednesday he and his dad Jilson and older brother Nikesh will be among the crowd of more than 10,000 expected to watch Australia go up against India in the One-Day International at Manuka Oval.

Mum Krisha Jilson signed-up as a volunteer to direct fans to their seats.

Living in a cricket-obsessed household has some downsides for Ms Jilson, she never gets to watch anything else on TV during peak season, but she wouldn't have it any other way and can't think of a better place to be on her 20th wedding anniversary.

"We are very excited that we will be celebrating this special day watching our favourite sport in the world," Ms Jilson said.


"It's never a boring game.

"You have your favourites and it's nice to see when they bat, [but] with one-day it's always down to the last ball … anything can happen."

The match sold out on Tuesday and additional tickets released at 6pm were also expected to be snapped up before the game.

Ticket-holders were urged to arrive early from 1pm and take advantage of free ACTION bus travel to avoid traffic congestion.

Ms Jilson said she and her husband have been "mad cricket-lovers" since their childhoods in Sri Lanka and India.

So much so it was one of the reasons the public servants moved from Darwin to Canberra 20 years ago.

"There were no cricket matches in Darwin… we moved to Canberra so we could go to Sydney and Melbourne to watch the cricket matches," she laughed.

"I love Australia and I've been here for almost 25 years but when it comes to cricket it's always Sri Lanka. Same with my husband, he [goes for] India but my two boys are for Australia.

"[Cricket] unites a lot of people, no matter which country we are supporting we all have the goal of loving the game."

Mr Joseph played for a local cricket team in Darwin and it didn't take long for the couple's sons to follow suit, both picking up the bat at three-years-old and going on to represent the ACT in the Emerging Comets teams and their school, Marist College.

At one stage Akshay's obsession was so strong he wanted to change his name to Michael Clarke after the former Australian cricket captain, Ms Jilson said.

But the nine-year-old has now turned his attention to current Australia captain Steve Smith and hopes to get an autograph and a selfie with his new idol on Wednesday.

As well as playing backyard cricket the boys train at the nets with their father almost every day and Akshay spends as much time as he can on YouTube studying videos of Clarke and his other hero, Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara, to one day fulfil his dream of playing for Australia.

"I think it's a fun sport and you can get fit," he said.

"I like batting most."

The One-Day International: Australia v India is on at Manuka Oval from 2.20pm.