the Mexican Wave from Bikwil’s first issue
(May 1997)? Well, my news for you
today does not have the linguistic emphasis of that article, but instead
brings you the surging truth about that other Aussie one-day cricket wave.
it occurs when Oz is fielding. From the front rows comes
the sound of male voices bawling, “Hey, name, give
us a wave!” (where for name you can substitute
“Warnie” or “Ponting”, etc.). It’s not just the fielders
near the fence who are hailed so mellifluously; it’s also
those further inland, wind conditions permitting.
players are happy to respond, except when they have to concentrate. Before
he became captain, for example, Steve Waugh used to give an especially
amiable, discreet behind-the-back wavelet. The idea has been also tried
with fielding international players, though with mixed success.
choral cricket shouting reminds me of the Last Night at the Proms, though
the open-air acoustics of a cricket ground are nothing like those of the
Royal Albert Hall, of course. There seems to be a problem with the
reverberation in that august cultural rotundity because London's music
lovers yell quite slowly and precisely. Not so measured are the
worse-for-wear Aussies, who roar their message at a normal pace. No doubt
both groups rehearse their line, but there's not much to practise at the
cricket — just agree on your target, and you're off and bellowing.