Cynical cricket fans might downplay tonight’s Allan Border Medal as a beat-up, but there’s no downplaying Cricket Australia’s current one day ad campaign, which captures all the movement and excitement delivered by a one day match … occasionally.

Australian hip hop band TZU set the mood for the ad with their anthemic tune “Summer Days”. Here’s part of the chorus which appears in the ad:

Summer days and I get blazed
Rolling up big jays
Sparking up them flames

“Summer Days” in its original form goes on to suggest other strategies for beating the summer heat:

Slip slop slap the sunblock
The soundtrack to summer is deep dub and hip hop
Crank the boombox while we belly flop in rivers
With some Coopers Pale Ale to exercise the livers

It may seem a canny choice by Cricket Australia. One day games attract hordes of young, male and often shirtless barrackers, many of whom might relate to the song in a very first hand sort of way. Their behaviour at some matches in Melbourne and Brisbane in recent years suggests they’re quite familiar with that last line.

But the Cricket Australia family is a diverse one: for every beer-toting bloke in the outer there’s a kid wearing an Adam Gilchrist shirt having a day out with Mum and Dad. That same kid might even partake in some of Cricket Australia’s finest – its many junior development programs.

So how did a song about “rolling up big jays” and “sparking up them flames” and “getting blazed” become the soundtrack to Australia’s most popular summer sport? Is it Cricket Australia’s view that smoking pot somehow enhances playing or watching cricket? And given the very serious issue of youth substance abuse, what message does this send about cricket’s attitude to “getting blazed”?

A spokesman from Cricket Australia wouldn’t answer those questions. He said CA chooses “a different song and different lyrics to our TV campaigns every year. The lyrics as they appear in the song are not precisely what appears in the advertisement.” Crikey understands the words “jays” and “flames” have been scratched out, leaving:

Summer days and I get blazed
Rolling up big ––
Sparking up them ––

How many ways can those words be interpreted? CA spokesman: “Lyrics can be interpreted in a thousand different ways. We’re perfectly comfortable with what’s going to air.”

Crikey acknowledges that sporting terminology develops rapidly, but hasn’t been able to identify anything in the coach’s manual under the words “rolling”, “sparking” or “getting blazed”. Maybe it’s an oblique tip on how to make the Allan Border Medal a more interesting affair.

Peter Fray

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