Tasmanians gather to watch the historic fifth Ash Test at Bellerive Oval in Hobart

Thousands of people have flocked to Bellerive Oval to witness the first men’s Ashes Test which will be played in Tasmania.

Day one of the five-day test match is full, and among those lucky enough to get their hands on a ticket are Hobart’s Matt Siely and his five-year-old son Cole.

Cole is part of the Glenorchy Cricket Club’s junior program and will play on the oval during the lunch break, sharing a surface with his idol Pat Cummins.

“He has been training and eating a lot of veg this week to improve his bowling skills for today’s game,” said Siely.

Dressed head to toe in England colours, Sharon Heaton traveled from Devonport with her husband and two friends to watch her team take on Australia in this historic match.

“A win would be nice, my husband wouldn’t have that much stick at work,” she said.

England supporters Jayne Bidwell (left) and Sharon Heaton came from Devonport to watch the test.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Ms Heaton was able to secure tickets for days one and three, but accommodation was more difficult to find.

“The only place we could find accommodation was in Ridgeway with the wallabies, it’s very different from Devonport there,” she said.

West Hobart mother Kate Headlam admitted she is not the biggest cricket fan in the world, but said seeing Australia play in her hometown is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“My husband is a bigger fan; I just stop at the exciting parts,” she said.

Ms Headlam scored tickets at the last minute after a friend was unable to attend.

Dozens of people lined up outside a sports stadium.
People started lining up early outside the Bellerive Oval to try and get the best seats.(ABC News: Alexandra Alvaro)

But some cricket fans, like Brighton’s father Jordan Broughton, have chosen not to attend amid rising coronavirus cases in Tasmania.

“No one loves cricket more than I do, however, life is more important,” he said.

Mr Broughton thinks it’s important for Hobart to host world-class events to help struggling businesses, but he’s disappointed that smaller events have been canceled due to the pandemic.

“The Cygnet Folk festival cannot take place, the taste festival just wasn’t the same this year,” he said.

Mr Broughton said despite having had his COVID-19 vaccine booster, he would watch the test from his living room.

“It’s not the virus that worries me; I’m worried about potentially transmitting it or having to isolate it,” he said.

City painted green and gold

In a demonstration of support for Tasmania’s first Ashes test, major Hobart landmarks will be lit in green and gold until next week, including City Hall, Rose Garden Bridge, Franklin Square Fountain and the Mall Elizabeth Street.

However, unlike Dark Mofo – which takes place in the middle of winter – people will have to wait until around 9:30 p.m. for the best shots of the light shows.

“Because it’s a day-night test, it’s the perfect time for cricket fans to see the city’s landmarks lit up on the way back from Bellerive Oval,” a council spokesman said. from Hobart.

An ancient sandstone building is lit with green and gold lights.
Hobart Town Hall will be green and gold as the Fifth Ash Test will be held in the city.(Facebook: City of Hobart)

The Tasmanian government spent $ 5million of taxpayer dollars to organize the event, but Prime Minister Peter Gutwein has previously said he expects the financial return to be much greater.

“We’ll get a return of $ 27 million, that’s what is estimated… there will be smaller and incidental costs associated with the broadcast,” Gutwein said.

Each day can accommodate 14,000 people, but strict COVID safety measures are in place, such as face masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing.

While Tasmanians may be divided over whether the Ash Test should have taken place, for father and son Brendon and Callum Barry it will be a weekend they will never forget.


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