Authors: Rio Sports
Name: The Pool Deck.
Age: One year.
Appearance: Pool decky.
What is a pool deck? It’s a pool, usually above ground, with a deck around it.
I see. So, like a paddling pool for grownups? Yes. With a deck around it.
Sounds nice. Why are we talking about these as we stare down the barrel of the supposed coldest UK winter for seven years? Because this particular pool deck is not in the UK. It is in Australia. Specifically, in the Gabba cricket ground in Brisbane, where it was installed last year to encourage people to come to watch matches. This week, it is to be used during an Ashes match for the first time.
I would not be encouraged to go anywhere by the sight of people in a pool. Have you seen people? In a pool? Ah, but these people are different. Aspiring users are required to turn up in their most fetching swimwear and will be chosen at random thereafter by spotters in the crowd.
That sounds more than a little weird and disturbing. Will these spotters be drawn from the full panoply of human sexuality, ethnicity and religious affiliation? Will they seek to represent the same broad range of human forms, personalities and possibilities in their choices? Yes.
So it is just a way of getting bikini babes into cricket grounds? Yes.
Myriad ideological and sociocultural issues aside, will this not be distracting for players? Former England cricket captains David Gower and Mike Gatting say not.
I remember them! The dandelion-haired one and the big bloke? Yes. However, the writer and cricketer Simon Hughes reckons they could be a distraction. “But it could also prove a nice contrast to the awful abuse you get on the boundary. It would put you in a better mood,” he says.
Poor Simon. I know.
What do the Australians say? That they haven’t lost a test match at what they call the Gabbattoir since 1988 and – bikinis or no bikinis – they don’t intend to start now.
No bikinis sounds like even more of a challenge. Let’s leave it there.
Do say: “I am totally focused on the match.”
Don’t say: “I’m going to need a bigger box.”
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