Cricket final leaves Kiwi fans on sticky wicket

By ScoreLine Desk - July 12, 2019

*Wellington**:* The Black Caps’ surprise run to the Cricket World Cup final
has created a dilemma for fans in New Zealand after sports bars across the
the country failed to anticipate their team’s success.

Matches at the England-hosted tournament are being played in the middle of
the night for Kiwis and most had written off the Black Caps before their
the upset semi-final win over India.

That includes the hospitality industry, which needs special licenses for
bars to operate throughout the night when there are big sporting events.

“It takes 20 working days for a late liquor licensing application to be
processed, obviously, no one in Wellington thought we’d get to the final
because no one has asked,” a Wellington City Council spokeswoman said.

New Zealand media reported similar issues around the South Pacific nation,
leaving cricket fans on a sticky wicket about how to watch the Black Caps’
bid for a maiden title.

The match starts at 9.30 p.m. Sunday in New Zealand and will finish around
5.30 a.m. Monday if it goes the distance, but sports bars are only licensed
until 4:00 a.m.

So supporters can either watch the match at home or join fellow fans in a
bar and run the risk of being turfed out at 4:00 if neither of the
finalists repeat the collapse that marred New Zealand’s appearance in the
2015 final.

Wellington City Council’s spokeswoman said the unexpected nature of New
Zealand’s appearance meant there would be no fan zones in the capital.

She also offered a novel suggestion to supporters if they managed to find a
venue screening the match that was open all night: “You could watch it
without drinking!”

New Zealand has won support from an unexpected quarter, with the Australian
Broadcasting Corporation backing the Black Caps after England humiliated
their team in the semi-finals.

“In the spirit of Australia’s penchant for unashamedly claiming any
sporting success from across the ditch as its own, the Black Caps are
clearly firming as Australia’s choice for Sunday’s Lord’s showdown,” it
said.

The sentiment is unlikely to be welcomed by Kiwis still smarting from their
mauling by Australia in the 2015 final and feeling morally superior after
the 1981 underarm bowling controversy.

Regardless of the result, bleary-eyed Kiwi fans may welcome the late
Australian prime minister Bob Hawke’s advice after his country pulled an
all-nighter in 1983 to watch a victory in the America’s Cup.

“Any boss who sacks anyone today for not turning up is a bum,” he said.

*@AFP*

By ScoreLine Desk

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