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Cricket Fever Down Under

Friday, February 20, 2015

The 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup kicked off in style last week and if you’re about to fly to Australia or New Zealand to watch the upcoming matches, or just want to find out more about the various venues that India will be playing at, Dev Goswami & Anindra Sequeira have the perfect guide for you. They tell you about the host cities and bring you various deals and offers to make the most of if you’re staying in Mumbai

MELBOURNE
Ground:
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Matches to be played: South Africa vs India (February 22) and the World Cup Final (March 29)
The second-most populated city in Australia, Melbourne is obsessed with the colour black, so an easy way to blend into the city’s culture is to break out your best black tie outfit! The city was once called Batmania — but it’s not because they’re obsessed with Batman. It was named after John Batman, an Australian-born colonist who was one of the city’s founding figures. Melbourne is also where the popular Australian beer Fosters was first brewed. The city is considered to be the sporting capital of Australia — so it’s hardly a surprise that the final is going to be played here. 

Spots to visit

  • The South Melbourne Market is the perfect place to experience Australian culture. It offers fresh produce, a host of services, restaurants as well as live music.
  • The oldest public museum in Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria is known for its expansive collection of Australian art, which ranges from Australian Aboriginal artefacts to modern, contemporary art. The famous theft of Pablo Picasso’s The Weeping Woman took place here.
  • The Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, situated on the banks of the Yarra River, is home to around 10,000 sea creatures. You’ll get to see animals such as sharks, turtles, stingrays, saw-fish, tropical fish  and crocodiles.

PERTH
Ground:
WACA
Matches to be played: India vs UAE (February 28) and India vs West Indies (March 6)
Known for its fearsome pitch, which is regarded one of the quickest and bounciest in the world, WACA has seen some memorable cricketing battles. The stadium is located in Perth, which is one of the most isolated metropolitan spots in the world. Ever since 1962, the city has come to be known as the City of Light — the term was coined by American astronaut John Glenn when he observed the brightly-lit city (Perth had deliberately turned on all its lights) during his orbit around earth in the Friendship 7 spacecraft.

Spots to visit

  • Kings Park is one of the largest inner-city parks in the world, even beating New York’s Central Park.
  • The Perth mint is the oldest operating mint in Australia and as part of its guided tour, offers the amazing spectacle of molten gold being poured and transformed into a gold bar.
  • Rottenest Island, located around 19km off the coast of Perth, has an unbelievable 63 beaches and 20 bays where you can relax, take in the scenery, experience wildlife, swim and snorkel. The island also houses the Wadjemup Lighthouse, which will treat you some unforgettable views of nature and the ocean.

HAMILTON
Ground:
Seddon Park
Matches to be played: India vs Ireland (March 10)
Once known as Kirikirrio, which means a ‘long stretch of gravel,’ Hamilton is one of the few cities in the world that has an exact antipodal city (a city on the earth’s surface that is diametrically opposite the first) — Cordoba, Spain. So, if you were to dig a straight tunnel from Hamilton, you’ll come out in Cordoba, Spain! The city is known to experience some of the hottest summers of New Zealand, and is a must-visit if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan — read the box below to find out why.

Spots to visit

  • This may not be located close to the stadium, but it is an attraction that you cannot miss out on. A farmland just outside the city houses of the village of Hobitton, which was created specially for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. A permanent set, it is open to tourists, and is the closest that you’ll ever get to stepping into the fantasy world.
  • The Hamilton Gardens are one of the of the most well-known parks in the world, and last year, they won the International Garden Tourism’s Garden of the Year award. The USP of these gardens is that they are divided into paradise, productive, fantasy, cultivar and landscape, which form the five collections that are part of the ‘story of the gardens’ theme that Hamilton Gardens are presented in.

AUCKLAND
Ground:
Eden Park
Matches to be played: India vs Zimbabwe (March 14) and Semi-final #1 (March 24)
Home to the largest stadium in New Zealand, Auckland is known as the mecca for water sports. In fact, the city is known as the ‘City of Sails’ because of the thousands of yachts that are moored at the harbour — fun fact: it is believed that one in every three people in Auckland own a boat. The city is home to a massive eight-lane harbour bridge, which is one of the few in the world that you can legally climb. And once you’re at the top, don’t worry about climbing back down — simply jump over, as the bridge also operates a 40m bungy jump!
   
Spots to visit

  • Auckland is home to several (and we mean several) beaches, which house every kind of activity you can imagine. From relaxing in a cosy, sheltered spot to indulging in water and beach activities and sports, you’ll find a wide variety of options.
  • The Auckland Art Gallery is the largest art institution in the country and exhibits around 15,000 works.

SYDNEY
Ground:
Sydney Cricket Ground
Matches to be played: Semi-final #2 (March 26)
Home to the historical Sydney Cricket Ground, this city is often confused to be the capital of Australia (that would be Canberra). The city is also known for the Sydney Harbour Bridge (another bridge you can legally climb, but sadly, cannot bungy jump off) and the iconic Sydney Opera House — if all the shells of this building were broken down and joined together, they’d from a perfect sphere. The city, which inexplicably hosts a duck fashion show every year (it’s exactly what you think it is — ducks paraded around in fashionable clothes), also hosted the 2000 Olympics. Melted metal from Australian 1 and 2 cents was used to make the bronze medals for this iconic event.

Spots to visit

  • The Bondi beach is one the most popular beaches in the area and offers a number of restaurants, pubs and cafés where you can relax.
  • The Sydney Observatory is another popular attraction — it features modern telescopic lenses, which will treat you to goosebump-inducing views of the stars.

Deals and offers in the city
Disappointed about not making it Down Under to catch all the cricketing action? Well, the various deals and offers being run by establishments in our city will cheer you up!

He Said She Said
There are great offers at He Said She Said in Andheri. The bigger your group, the better — if you are 10 people you can avail a 10% discount, and if there are 20 people or more in your group you are entitled to a 20% discount. The restaurant is also offering discounts based on the Indian team’s performance at the World Cup. So you get a 10% discount if Virat Kohli scores a century or if India scores more than 300 runs. And, if an Indian bowler gets a hat-trick, you can choose from either a 10% discount or three shots for the price of two.
Offer: Discounts based on Indian team’s performance
Where: Veera Desai Road, Andheri (w)
Contact: 9022480780

Vicinia Café Bar
At Vicinia Café Bar in Kemps Corner, you can enjoy unlimited cocktails and beer at just `999 per person as you watch the World Cup matches from 9am. You can also enjoy great breakfast preparations such as Eggs Benedict and Moroccan Cous Cous. The offer is only valid when World Cup matches are being played.
Offer: Unlimited cocktails and beer at Rs 999 per person
Where: Kemps Corner
Contact: 23681010

The White Owl
The White Owl in Lower Parel has a 200-inch display, which it will use to screen select 9am matches with commentary. The establishment also has an offer where you can enjoy a 550ml jar of in-house brew for the price of a 330ml jar. And the brewery and bistro is also introducing a brand new beer called COCO, a dark chocolate porter.
Offer:550ml in-house brew for the price of 330ml
Where: Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel
Contact: 24210231

Colaba Social
Colaba Social is going cricket crazy this World Cup! They have an offer during the matches where you can get three longest Long Island Ice Teas (LIITs) at Rs 1,200 and any of their breakfast trays at Rs 250. It definitely sounds like a place you should visit doing the World Cup.
Offer: Three LIITs at Rs 1,200, any breakfast tray at Rs 250
Where: Apollo Bunder, Colaba
Contact: 22828484

ARK
ARK, at the Courtyard by Marriott in Andheri East, is screening India’s matches at the World Cup starting at 9am. There is an a la carte menu with dishes from around the world. But the main attraction is the lounge’s 9 LCD screens and its drinks offer — it has special beer buckets starting at Rs 1,000 for three beers.
Offer: Special beer buckets start at Rs 1,000 for three beers
Where: Opposite Sangam Big Cinemas, Andheri (e)
Contact: 61369999

Travel Tips
If you’re heading to either Australia or New Zealand, keep the following tips in mind

  • Even though it’s currently autumn down under, remember that the Australian sun can be extremely harsh. So, remember to carry sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30. Also carry hats and a good pair of sunglasses.
  • Both countries are known for their scenic beaches. However, make sure that if you venture into the sea, you stay between the red-yellow flags — these flags are meant to demarcate the safest areas for swimming and will keep you safe from rocks and sharks.
  • Do you love hitch-hiking? Well, then you should know that while hitch-hiking is definitely prevalent, legally, certain states such as Victoria and Queensland, prohibit hitch-hiking. New Zealand, on the other hand, with its friendly population has no such restrictions.
  • When it comes to travel within Australia, you should plan your itinerary down to the T. Remember that it is a continent with vast stretches of outback that separate cities. Road trips can prove to be expensive, so public transport and inter-city air travel will be a better, cheaper option.
  • If you’re a foodie and want to indulge in the mouth-watering dishes that like those seen on MasterChef, remember that in most restaurants in Australia, entrées are actually starters, while mains form their entrées.
  • Australia can prove to be expensive (more so than New Zealand, though that isn’t cheap). So, factor in the cost of everything while planning your trip. A good way to save money is to stay in hostels instead of star hotels, and to drink local brews, which are much cheaper than premium alcohol or even brew from other Australian states.

Get Sporty!
If you’re looking to add a sporty touch to your wardrobe or just want to proclaim your love for the game, check these options out.
Get Patriotic
VoxPop has introduced a line of themed T-shirts that are inspired by iconic moments from the sport’s history. There are some innovative designs, but we’ve picked this rather patriotic white tee so that you can show your support for the Indian cricket team. Each T-shirt in their cricket-inspired line is available at Rs 599.
Price: Rs 599
Where: www.voxpopclothing.com

Nike Stadium Jersey
This collared Stadium jersey is part of the 2015 Indian national team kit and is being sold exclusively online by Myntra.com, thanks to their tie-up with Nike. It’s not just something to wear when supporting India at the World Cup, but it’s great for other occasions as well.
Price: Rs 3,795
Where:  Online at Myntra.com and select Nike Stores

Fan T-Shirt
Another Nike team India shirt, this one is a V-neck version of the official jersey. Pick this up if you don’t want to spend too much while cheering for India.
Price: Rs 1,895
Where:  Online at Myntra.com and select Nike stores

ICC Cap
This is the official ICC cap for the 2015 cricket World Cup. Donning in a simple blue and adorned with ‘India’ in orange as well as orange striping on the front, this is an stylish budget option.
Price: Rs 699
Where: HyperCITY

Sip It
This official ICC bottle is a nice way to show your love for the game without being too flashy. And it attaches to your kit bag, so you can carry it around easily.
Price: Rs 799
Where: HyperCITY

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