T20 Cricket 2024 – New Zealand vs Australia

An absolute nail-biter at the stadium

Wellington Batucada at the 2024 T20 Cricket - NZ vs Aus - photo by Tom Etuata

We haven’t done much for the cricket before – and it was great to be asked. Particularly as the payment for our gig included a bunch of tickets for the game. Fantastic! How could we say no?

Our job was to entertain the crowd as they arrived for the Black Caps’ T20 cricket match against Australia at the Sky Stadium. For the first time in ages the drummers got to wear our old black uniform again (dig those extra-ancient starry pants that director Darryn was sporting!) – and the dancers were dressed all in white (with silver accents). It was a good look.

Bit breezy and cool, but otherwise a lovely late afternoon in February, nice and sunny, just perfect for an energetic march up and down, with a bit of drumming and dancing thrown in for good measure.

As we’re fast approaching our two biggest gigs of the year – Newtown Fair and CubaDupa – Darryn decided that it would be a good plan to play as much of our repertoire for those two gigs as possible – including (with OMG no warning!) our first rendition of two new elements – the “Chegou” song and chant that gets performed during Rocinha samba, and a whole new piece – Olodum samba reggae – that we’ve been practicing for ages, but have never actually performed before. Crikey!

Wellington Batucada at the 2024 T20 Cricket - NZ vs Aus - photo by Tom Etuata

Darryn always has such faith in us – and we didn’t disappoint – both Chegou and Oludum went off without a hitch – and it was actually a bit spine-tingling to see how much energy we can put into the chant – and how well it’s received by an audience. Good to know.

It was a nice long gig – starting near the Stadium and marching alllll the way to the train station steps, then turning round and coming back again, followed by a couple more turns and direction changes. For our final pass back down toward the stadium again Darryn decided not to wheel the whole band around like he’d done earlier, but instead instructed us all to turn around on the spot. The back row became the front row, the front row was now at the back, and the rest of us were somewhere in between, each behind a row we’re usually in front of.

It’s always fun to change things up a bit once in a while, and I think the surdos (normally back row, now in “show pony” position at the front) had the BEST time ever. In fact, I rather get the impression they reckon they should lead the way the whole time, instead of once in a blue moon.

Wellington Batucada at the 2024 T20 Cricket - NZ vs Aus - photo by Tom Etuata

About 20 of us were able to take advantage of the free tickets to the game, so after a quick change into warmer clothes, we were off to our seats in the stadium. What a treat! It was such an exciting game. As you may know, it was a total nail-biter, right until the very last second. Australia needed four to win off the final ball – and they bloody well did it, with a boundary that our fielders just couldn’t quite get to in time.

Such an aaargh moment – but funnily enough, the vibe of the crowd on their way out of the stadium was still super-good. I think it was such a thrilling game that, even though we lost – and by such a tiny margin – we’d all still had a brilliant night.

Thanks NZ Cricket for inviting us to be part of the fun, and for enabling us to watch the game as well. Fab!

Wellington Batucada at the 2024 T20 Cricket - NZ vs Aus - photo by Tom Etuata

Photo gallery

Photos by Cazza Sunset, Charlene Hillyard, Harriet Payne, Kelly Etuata, Paula Lloyd and Tom Etuata. Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version:

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *