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3 Things To Do In...

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3 Things To Do In...

Except for seeing one in your home city, it is rare for anyone to travel to a Test without thought of what to do or see when not at the match. As such, when waiting for overseas fixtures to be released, we often wish, or more ‘hope’, to play in Cape Town to climb Table Mountain (above), land in Dominica to swim through Titou Gorge, or be sent to Chandigarh to amaze at the Rock Garden. 

Often you know where you will play, for example, Australia will always play in either Kandy, Galle, and/or Colombo in Sri Lanka, it’s just a matter of when.

You should only play Test Cricket in Zimbabwe’s Harare and Bulawayo, most likely Dhaka or Chattogram if playing Bangladesh, though Kulna, Bogra, and Sylhet are possible, and you are guaranteed to play at Lord’s when touring the UK so you can experience Heathrow Airport, London’s best attraction.

Other nations such as South Africa and New Zealand are so well geared to tourism that if your team doesn’t play in your preferred city, you can quickly and affordably get to where you want before or after each Test. 

A 5-day game is rare nowadays, but on every Australian Cricket Tour we invest 7 or 8 days in each city, a lottery of scheduling hosted by the competing nations.

Though you may have ideas of what to do or see when planning cricket travel, we know many that focus on the game, not caring where the game is played; they just want to watch cricket!

Only when the game is over will they decide how to enjoy their time which can be super hard with lots to do in some places or super easy with nothing to do in others!

Sadly, the lottery of scheduling will dump you in places where you can only cheer for a 5-day game with often little to zero of anything to do. In which case, make sure you know how to swing a golf club for that is always an option no matter where your ball lands.

Depending the city, often the best things are often not even in the city such as the Sunshine Coast when in Brisbane, Sigiriya Rock when in Kandy, or the Pakistan border when in Chandigarh.

You won’t find the Opera House, Taj Mahal, or killer lions in every city, which are at least stepping-stones to ‘tick the box’ on the best you can see. 

In Cape Town we are blessed with ‘a thousand’ things to see and do for which you can be thankful for a 2 day test.

To the other extreme, if you are dealt the duff card of being sent to Kanpur, India, you can only wish for a 6 day game as there is little to no tourism in this city caught between nowhere and the middle.

That said, I have no ‘touristy reason’ to visit Brisbane either, so I make no correlation between any country and its tourism development.

Cricket is the winner, which is why we are there above all else. You always want a 5-day epic that goes to the wire for either side. Chasing one wicket or getting another few runs or hanging on for the draw.

There are three possibilities to cling to until the final ball has been bowled or the umpire cruelly draws stumps on a dark afternoon. If not the nail-biter the game is often one-sided, and the game ends early leaving you to wonder ‘what now?’. 

Culturally, there is much to learn when ‘going out’ after play. Many non-drinkers that have travelled the cricket world with us also appreciate the need and enjoyment of finding a local hang-out after play, which lends itself to enjoying more of your time in the country.

Whether that be a ‘rum shack’ in the West Indies, a ‘dive bar’ in Bangladesh, ‘sundowners’ in Southern Africa, or a ‘roof top’ in India, what makes an experience isn’t always looking at the War Memorial and saying ‘bugger me it’s hot’ half a dozen time. 

With 2-4 days spare either side of a test match, this is how we have experienced time in each city we have enjoyed the game. We may include a favourite restaurant or bar or even as many as 4-5 things, as sometimes that is everything to see.

Though we have visited most test cities, with active test venues, there are a few we haven’t and our ‘suggestions’ are based on third party research, and what we would like to see.

Bear in mind, if we listed ‘everything’ you can see in some cities you would never see a ball bowled!

No matter you see and do when not at the game, we hope you take home some awesome memories.