On the pitch without a stitch
For people like me, whose access to the British tabloid Sun was always remote, the phenomenon of streakers on the cricket field used to provide me a novel opportunity to engage in a globalised form of voyeurism. So imagine my surprise — nay, disappointment — when on Tuesday, an Australian gent by the name of Robert Ogilvie ran on to the pitch stark naked while the final of the CB Tri-Series was on between the well-clad Indian and Australian teams in Brisbane. Apart from the tension faced by the ground security that was felt dangling all across the stadium and across TV sets, Robert’s dash to the pitch was a matter of great merriment. That he was ‘brutally’ knocked down by Andrew Symonds was the crashing finale to a time-tested activity that is part-breaking the law and part fairground delight.
But over the years, at least in cricket, streaking seems to have become a male activity. I still remember picking up Sportsworld and viewing the photograph of Sheila Nicols running on to Lords with Ian Botham, sitting on his haunches and, very much unlike Symonds, looking on at the Lady Godiva-like streaker with a gentle smile. This was the 1989 Ashes, and the 4-0 defeat of England in the hands of the visiting Aussies could partially be credited to Allan Border’s team and partially to the 19-year-old Nicols (who actually conducted cartwheels on the pitch without wearing a stitch!) stunt in the second Test. With India now the Mecca of cricket, ladies, anyone for a run?