Sydney Director’s Cut: 2nd to 13th January 2014

As with Melbourne, having previously posted a cricket focused shorter account of my time in Sydney, here’s the more detailed version as originally published on Tumblr at the time…

My final stop on my Australia/Ashes odyssey saw me in Sydney for a bit under two weeks, plenty of time as it turned out due to the most inept and woeful England cricket performance of the tour, but I’m not going to talk about that just yet. Overall, I had a pretty good time in Sydney but I also am now looking forward to heading home (currently writing this at Sydney airport en route to Dubai for a quick pit-stop before going back to London). To start with, I stayed fairly central in Sydney, just below Hyde Park and at the top of the Surrey Hills area, so well placed for the city, some good bars/restaurants and also a nice half hour stroll to the Sydney Cricket Ground. After 3 days of misery at the SCG (interspersed with some pleasant evenings), I did the tourist thing for a couple of days – saw that bridge, saw that shell-type building etc; all impressive stuff but I think I could tell I was struggling from travel fatigue too at this stage. Probably most enjoyable was a boat trip around Sydney harbour, where as well as seeing the main sights, I stopped off at a picturesque enclave called Watson’s Bay for a good lunch with some fellow England sufferers.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Can y’guess where I am yet? On some boat near some building in some city down under

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Sydney Five-oh: Sydney Ashes Test, 3rd to 5th January 2014

The last of my Ashes diaries as originally posted on my Tumblr site just after the events of each Test in 2013/14 – as with Melbourne, this is a summarised version of my time in Sydney (and therefore fairly short with this Test not lasting 3 days).  Cricinfo match scorecard here

[After originally blogging about Sydney itself I then finally asked myself this tough next question…]: But hang on. Wasn’t there some other reason I went to Sydney? Oh yes, the fifth Test at the SCG. Despite the terrible performances in the preceding four Tests, this was the nadir with it being all over in 3 days this time, which at least gave me more time to explore Sydney, plus I do get a refund for my fourth day ticket too, so that is at least something. As ever with England, there was a bit of hope on the first day, as Australia were reduced to 97-5 just after lunch on day one before the inevitable Brad Haddin plus one other (in this case Steve Smith) show saved them before various batting collapses from England – and these two innings from England were the worst of the tour for various reasons I won’t go into now. As for positives, it was good to go to the SCG, although I was a little underwhelmed compared to the majesty of Melbourne’s MCG and actually think I prefer the Adelaide Oval too. Also, I did feel for the couple sat next to me, who had come over just for the Sydney Test. At least by going to all 5 Tests, I guaranteed I would be there for the approximately 6 sessions that we won in the entire series, as well as the best day (day 2 at the MCG).

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The Sydney Cricket Ground’s iconic pavilions

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