Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bradman, prettiness and walking around

There's no better way to figure out a new city than by walking around in it. It's something I've always done wherever I've gone. Unfortunately, I couldn't do it in the city I have fallen in love with so much - Melbourne. For reasons mentioned in previous mails, I had very little time in Melbourne and had to use taxis and trams more often than I would have wanted to.

But here in Adelaide, things have been different, and while it is practically impossible to walk-explore an entire city while on a business tour, we've done a fair bit of exploring here.

It doesn't have Melbourne's city feel, but it certainly has a lovely relaxed feel to it, and is certainly the prettiest city around these parts.

And the Adelaide Oval is also the prettiest big ground I have seen during my travels...there are lots of small grounds, like the one in Canberra, the one in Kuala Lumpur, small grounds in England, etc, which are very pretty. The problem with big grounds is that commercial interests force massive rebuilding and a whole lot of concrete, which rob the ground of its beauty. Adelaide's managed to reach a compromise, and while it does seat over 35,000 people, it remains very old world. A lot of wood. Lots of history scattered around. All over.
Like the scoreboard. It's the oldest functioning scoreboard in the world, and the people here prefer it to the electronic scoreboard-cum-video screen adjacent to it.
In a most memorable tour, the South Australia Cricket Association historian Bernard Whimpress took us inside the massive four-storey scoreboard, where up to six people work at any given time during a match. I've seen scoreboards function in other parts of the world as well, and the processes are pretty similar. But the size of this one, and the impressive woodwork within makes this one stand out.

Apart from that, I've picked up a local Sundowner.

It's the traditional Aussie hat - made of Kangaroo leather. Soft. Very soft. And very stylish. Which proves that useful animals are useful in many ways, kangaroos being very tasty as well, like cows.

The hat's already done its tour of journalists' heads as well...senior colleague Ashish Shukla's for example...

And we also spent a bit of time at the Bradman Collection, a room in the South Australian Museums complex. Some photos are common, like the one of Bradman being bowled by Eric Hollies for a duck in his last Test innings, and some shots of Bradman batting. But there are a few priceless photos...rare ones.
And some of his personal stuff, which his family donated to the collection.

Manoj Tewari was also around, checking out The Don's collection on his off day.