I’ve been fairly devastated for the past month or so – ever since I found out that I will not be frying myself to a crisp on January 2nd. See, that’s the day the traditional New Year cricket match normally starts at Newlands stadium.
Capetonians rock up in their thousands with cooler bags, 2-litre bottles of Coke and contraband sachets of seriously bad booze hidden on their person in places I would rather not think of. I don’t smuggle mine in, I buy it there – beer in half-litre plastic cups. This is how I know I have class.
We sit in the blazing sun all day long, clap, shout, do the Mexican wave and generally have a total blast. When the teams retire for lunch in the air-conditioned splendour of the Members’ Stand, the crowds hit the takeaway stands like a tidal wave.
I eat the same thing every year – a foot-long double hot dog loaded with fried onions and dripping with both mustard and tomato sauce. Having grown up in a metric society, my understanding of the extent of a foot is rather vague, but it sounds marvellously excessive.
From a culinary perspective, it’s seriously suspect. You couldn’t pay me to eat this any other time. But at the cricket, in relentless sun, with a warm beer, it’s obligatory.
Sadly I won’t be stuffing my face with a ‘foot-long’ at Newlands come 2 January 2014. Because apparently (if the papers are to be believed) the head of Cricket South Africa, Haroon Lorgat, has antagonised the Indian cricket administrators somewhat – and they have chosen to show their displeasure.
Now my mum taught me that religion, sex and politics are subjects best avoided by any lady, so I won’t carry on too much about the politics of international cricket. All I know is that thousands of seriously disappointed fans will be at a loss on January 2nd.
I’ll be placating myself with a beer and this slightly more gourmet version of a hot dog – Knackwurst with sweet and sour coleslaw and a garlic-mustard mayo. It will be small recompense, but at least it’s something. I think I’ll call it The Haroon Lorgat.