ACT News

Crowd flocks to Manuka Oval for the highlight of Canberra's big summer of cricket

Fans dressed up in costume and families relaxed on the hill as Manuka Oval hosted Australia and South Africa under lights on Wednesday. Lee Gaskin reports.

They were a long way from Springfield but even the bad guys from the Simpsons found their way to Manuka Oval for the highlight of Canberra's big summer of cricket.

Eight teammates from the Bowning Buffaloes cricket club just outside of Yass made the trip for Wednesday's one-day international between Australia and South Africa and decided to dress up for the occasion.

Instead of going as the most popular characters such as Homer, Bart or Marge, they paid homage to some of their more evil castmates, such as Snake, Sideshow Bob and Mr Burns.

Jimbo Burleigh, who dressed up as his namesake, schoolyard bully Jimbo, said they wanted to do something different.

"We all play cricket together and we thought we would go in fancy dress, everyone loves the Simpsons, everyone goes as Homer or Marge so we thought let's go as the bad guys," Mr Burleigh said.

"I'll be climbing roofs tomorrow for work, so getting the yellow paint off is going to be a bugger."


Enjoying a relaxing day on the hill were the Lowe family from Queanbeyan - Scott, his wife Amy, eight-year-old daughter Scarlett and four-year-old son Felix.

Scott said it was important for Canberrans to get behind major events to ensure the city received its fair share in the future.

"Canberrans are too keen to whinge about these things when they don't turn up or when they're cancelled," Mr Lowe said.

"The more people who come to these matches, the more chance we've got of these things sticking around and becoming a regular event."

There were a couple of minor hiccups. 

A power cut early in the Australian innings affected the video replay screen near the Jack Fingleton scoreboard, and the dreaded Mexican Wave started up around 5pm.

Superheroes were needed, and luckily Wolverine and Batman came to the rescue.

Ian Forbes and Michael Ervin had travelled down from Newcastle for Tough Mudder in Goulburn on the weekend when they heard the cricket was on.

"We only decided to buy the tickets yesterday, then we went and bought the uniforms this morning," Mr Forbes said.

"They cost $100 each, I'll use it again I'm sure."

Daramalan College student Finlay Doyle received an early 17th birthday present after completing his final exam in exercise science on Wednesday morning.

"It's my birthday tomorrow morning so my parents helped me out with the tickets," Mr Doyle said.

"What better way than to watch the Australian cricket team."

A crowd of 10,583 watched Australia beat South Africa by 73 runs.