Hard not to love a good banner competition

Last updated 10:51 20/08/2009

The NZ v Sri Lanka Test is well under way at Galle, and as I type this Murali has just smoked Chris Martin like a big fat Cuban cigar and sent the first ball he faced for six over cow corner.

Aside from the brilliant footage of turtles, corn on the cob, the fort, fishing vessels and cows, I have enjoyed the distraction of the banner competition.

ThumbelinaEach cricketing nation displays idiosyncratic conventions in terms of its crowd banners: the Poms focus on Union Jacks with obscure hamlets and football clubs emblazoned across them, the Australians are massive on the spray paint vs sheet combination, and in India there is artistic flair for the vivid marker on to A3 paper approach.*

But overnight in Sri Lanka the preferred medium has been crayon on cardboard. And the banners on display have been variously good, bad, ugly and downright odd. Witness the following examples:

* "MAHELA & SANGA: These are our life"

* "NZ and SRI LANKA: Build up the p/ship between the above two strogly"

* "Carry on Sanga - our heartest congratulations"

* "Feel the heat when the lions on the hunt"

* "This is a real Chance Vettori why did you miss that game"

* "SAMARAWEERA is very good batsmen"

* New Zealand: Not a Game For Tigar Killers

Given the prize on offer is 5000 Sri Lankan rupees (about NZ$65), you might be thinking you get what you pay for. But that would be unfair as your money goes a hell of a long way in Sri Lanka. For example, according to The Economist a Big Mac in Galle will set you back 210 rupees, equivalent to about $2.70 here in the Shaky Isles and more than $2 cheaper than what you will pay if you're headed down to Maccas for lunch today.

For the record, this post was not in any way inspired by any missives from the Sri Lankan cricket authorities, despite their release asking that the Banner Competition be given "the widest coverage by publicizing this promotion, in order to generate public interest and better spectator participation".

*At Beige Brigade HQ we have always had an affinity for displaying homages to small horses - see www.smallhorse.co.nz - primarily as a tactic to confuse Australians who expect us to be focused on sheep.


In Episode 100 of The BYC: The Beige Brigade podcast we bring up our century with a magnificent tribute based on We Are the World, live in-studio guests include the Irwinator and the Nemesis, we enjoy gifts from Boston and the much forgotten Rheineck Dry, plus a cake from the Ace, and then we get started on our pub crawl across Wellington...nail the RSS feed for your Pod catcher...or visit The BYC page on iTunes...and The BYC archive of every episode is here.

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paulimus_prime   #1   11:42 am Aug 20 2009

I've found the banner's quite amusing as well it's like Chinese Engrish a lot of the time but you can figure out what they are trying to say.

Does anyone know who the hot blonde woman wearing all the team clothing and sitting with the players is?

Alvin   #2   12:14 pm Aug 20 2009

Shes the teams physio. I'm guessing the amount of 'groin strain' injuries have increased...

Tim   #3   12:53 pm Aug 20 2009

Who couldn't tell Guptill would get out trying to pull the ball - after nearly hitting one down the throat of deep square, toe ending one and wearing one on the body it was only a matter of time before he got out. He looks like another great NZ bat who has all the shots in the book but lacks the decision making to be more selective as to when to execute the shot aka Lou Vincent.

One hopes that once he gets a few more tests under his belt he will be more judicious with his shot selection.

Fingers cross Timmy Mc can buckle down for a big score tonight!

paulimus_prime   #4   01:41 pm Aug 20 2009

Guptill should NEVER have even thought of pulling that ball - if he wanted to hit it cut it, it was wide of off stump and going away.

Timmy Mac actually looked fairly solid surprisingly except for when he tries that weird/awful pull thing of his hopefully we can manage to get 400-500 and at least draw this test, should provide good experience to almost everyone in our team.

Stef   #5   01:56 pm Aug 20 2009

I remember two banners from the world cup in the 90s that was played in India. They've always stuck in my mind. First one said "England is mediocre." Harsh but fair. The second: "Harris is a philanthropist." Brilliant.

ivor bigun   #6   01:59 pm Aug 20 2009

Tim - what are you doing posting comments here? Shouldn't you be preparing yourself for a big innings later today? Also I'd be a bit more discreet in criticising your opening partner too, don't want him to run you out next innings...

Alvin   #7   03:04 pm Aug 20 2009

I thought Waqar was bang on the mark in his assessment of Taylor - a lot of talent but he tries to play too many shots. The same assessment could easily be made for a fair few of our batsman (Guptill, especially after last nights performance) Ryder and McCullum in particular. This is test cricket fellas. Save the tinsel for the Xmas tree. As one thing worries me greatly, and that is putting McCullum up to 6. Its a stack of cards about to fall with Taylor, Ryder and McCullum at 4, 5 and 6...A player like an Elliott, a solid, mature player with 12 years of first class experience, would be far better at 6 to offer balance. Then get him and Ryder to share the 3rd seamers role.

paulimus_prime   #8   03:54 pm Aug 20 2009

Oram was originally slotted in at 6 but because he got hurt *BIG surprise there* he's been put down the order to give him more time to get fit. But you're right about needing some kind of bumper between Ryder and McCullum weather it be a specialist batsman like Broom or someone like Elliot.

The Holden   #9   04:18 pm Aug 20 2009

A slightly less PC banner seen at Hamilton: http://www.beigebrigade.co.nz/gallery/Beige-Lighting-2008-09/banner2

The Holden   #10   04:19 pm Aug 20 2009

quite good too... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OrtJtO1SRM

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