A Quokka at the WACA – an Australia v South Africa match report

Posted by
3 minute read

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. We’re only really interested in your own experience, so if it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. (But if it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.)

Olaf writes…

My esteemed colleague Ged had been right all along. My increasing interest in cricket has passed from the merely exponential to the meteoric. 

It began with listening in to the musings of Aggers and his chums. I took a keen interest in the lists of field placements, in blissful ignorance of what they actually meant, in much the same way as confirmed landlubbers take comfort from being told of the latest gusts in Dogger, Fisher and German Bight. Then I tried seeing some actual cricket, cheering on the not entirely inaccurately named Oval Invincibles, before going to see a proper Test match.  The underlying trend is clear. Within about a year I expect to be in charge of world cricket.

So when I received the invite to come to Western Australia, having been smitten by an Aussie Hottie named Winking Mathilda, my first thought was to book us tickets for two days of the West Test. Well, that’s not quite true – my top priority was a trip to Rottnest Island, home of the world’s happiest and most adorable creature, the quokka. In flagrant breach of regulations I managed to smuggle one of these loveable marsupials off the island. He goes by the name of Percival, displays the sunny disposition of so many of his countrymen and has an uncanny skill at photo-bombing.

A temperature of 41 degrees was forecast, which sounded a bit on the chilly side to me, never having got to grips with this new-fangled centigrade scale. So, undeterred, in no time the three of us were heading for the WACA. Only to find that, much like this writer, it wasn’t all there. 

A major redevelopment is underway. Half the ground is just what you might expect, complete with genuinely uncomfortable seats, an emerald green pitch and cloudless sky in that shade of vibrant blue which is unique to Australia. The other  side of the ground hosted a strange ballet of bulldozers and diggers, who seemed to move with a much greater sense of purpose than the cricketers (the outcome of the match having effectively been determined long before we turned up).  

It was as if someone had placed Mordor right next to the Shire, which one suspects would have made for a rather shorter book. Dominating it all was a huge behemoth of a drill which had probably slipped away from the pages of one of the less plausible novels of Mr J Verne.

The only other hiccup was a shortage of English breakfast tea at the drinks stand. The Sheila behind the bar offered me Peppermint or Earl Grey but I fear the 30-minute lecture I offered on the cultural significance of builder’s tea to all true born sons of Albion was rather lost on her. No matter, we had a warm and wonderous couple of days. 

When it was all over, we were allowed on to the hallowed grass. Percival rushed ahead, determined to display the full range of his sporting skills by becoming the very first quokka to play soccer and perform a Hakka at the WACA.

The victorious lassies were then rewarded with a golden shower – of the most wholesome sort. And as we made our way home we were all struck by the thought which must occur to most visitors to this ground, or indeed this country.  Why would anyone ever want to leave?

If you’d like to get King Cricket match reports and all the other stuff by email, here’s the page where you can make that happen.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Top reportage, Olaf.

    I am a little perturbed that your most recent private correspondence with me started with the phrase “G’day mate”. I hope you haven’t gone over to the dark side.

    Meanwhile I sense that you and KC missed out on a click bait headline opportunity with this piece:

    “Olaf’s WACA Cracker Tackles Quokka Soccer Shocker”.

    No-one listens to me in the matter of clickbait headlines. That’s why I have my own blog. Not that my clickbait headlines particularly work there, but that’s another matter.

    Great report nonetheless.

Comments are closed.