Whilst persistence, nagging drizzle forced the game to be abandoned only a few overs into Sri Lanka’s run chase the evening appears not to have been wasted as more than 20,000 spectators came together to create history. Fans in the historic Victor Trumper stand of the Sydney Cricket Ground constructed a 100 metre long beer snake… Indeed the word snake doesn’t quite convey the beasts’ majesty, think more a beer python, even a beer anaconda.
For those of you who have never experienced a game of cricket in Australia and are thus not familiar with the concept of the beer snake it is quite simple really. A group of people (more often than not men in singlets and bucket hats) will sit in the sun for six hours, steadily sinking beers which are served in plastic cups. When enough beers have been drunk, the cups are placed inside one another and these collection of cups are then held aloft by the hardy gents who’ve sunk them usually to a great roar from the surrounding spectators.
While this act technically contravenes the rules at every major cricket ground in the country it encourages “binge” drinking apparently… imagine that) a lot of ground security and even the police will turn a blind eye to this activity, particularly when there is no cricket being played.
Such was the case last night and as the rain fell a far more important struggle began to take shape as 30 drinkers strove to attain perfection. In the stadium around them Australian and Sri Lankan cricket fans alike put aside their petty differences of language and culture and united in awe at what they were seeing.
The completed snake smashed the previous record of 55 metres that had been made during a test match at Perth’s West Australian Cricket Association Ground (WACA ground) in 2007.
Reports from those on the ground say that the final snake had started as two or even three separate snakes that had subsequently been joined together and that grown men who had been coming to watch cricket at the SCG for a generation or more wept openly when the two wobbly, slinking ends of the disparate snakes’ joined to form the anaconda.
Those 30 drinkers deserve their place in the history books and more than a little recognition from the government. An Order of Australia medal for each might be a bit of a stretch, but is surely warranted for the two men who wrangled the two snakes into one.
Makes you bloody proud to be from ‘Straya!