In cricket, preparation is everything.
Every player has his own routine. Matthew Hayden used to sit on the pitch on the night before every match. David Boon once consumed fifty-two cans of beer on an Ashes tour flight from Sydney to London.
In advance of the World Cup quarterfinal game this weekend in Wellington between the Black Caps and the West Indies, I caught up with Jeremy Wells and Mike Lane from the Alternative Commentary Collective (ACC) to ask them how they were preparing for the big day.
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There must be a few nerves seeing as it’s the first ever coverage of a World Cup quarterfinal for the ACC. How do you prepare for such a big occasion?
Everyone has different ways of preparing. Matt tends to put his fingers down his throat and throw up whilst Leigh Hart prefers to pumice his feet. Other members of the team take out of date prescription medicines they’ve found in inorganic rubbish collections. There’s no right or wrong way to prepare.
Do you undergo any fitness testing leading up to the game?
We’ve been persuaded by our bosses to sharpen up our fitness, as broadcasting for eight hours can take its toll physically. Mike Lane conducts a beep test the day before a game. So far no one’s got past the first beep.
How are you feeling a few days out?
Nervous, apprehensive, confident, over-confident, sick, tired, bloated, drunk/tipsy/twangered.
What’s the process before you go on air? What’s been said in the dressing room at the moment?
Essentially we’re learning the rules of the game, brushing up on stats, going over animal facts and texting people on our Grindr and Tinder accounts for post-match hook ups.
How have things changed after “Gatorgate”?
We’re no longer allowed to commentate from inside the ground. In fact, we’ve been banished to the city limits so we’ll be commentating from the Lower Hutt Holiday Park this weekend in Wellington. A friend has lent us their utility there, so there should be running water and power plus a toilet to do our ablutions. Last week in Gordonton we had to defecate in a bucket, which wasn’t ideal.
[The International Cricket Council has banned the ACC from broadcasting within the stadium, following a drinks break stunt from Leigh Hart—known as “Gatorgate”.]
What are the Black Caps’ chances against the West Indies for the Quarter Final on Saturday?
Either the West Indies or New Zealand should win.
Do we have what it takes to win the Cricket World Cup?
No, we’re a commentary team, not a cricket team. Most of us were pretty shit at cricket. If we had to play in any of these games I’d say we’d struggle to get six runs.