Expect to see plenty of cream, bone, white, off-white, ivory and beige at North Sydney Oval next month when one of the great traditions of the SCG Test – the Richies – make their maiden appearance at the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes.
Since 2010, an ever-growing group of devotees of the late Richie Benaud have become an iconic part of the New Year’s Test, turning out in their hundreds each year on day two complete with grey wigs and replicate Channel Nine microphones.
Australia will meet England in the first ever women’s day-night Test at North Sydney Oval from November 9, and Richies founder Michael Hennessey said it was the perfect time for the Richies – who have already branched out to each of the other men’s Test venues – to throw their support behind the world No.1 Southern Stars.
Hennessey is hoping to get at least 100 – and preferably 190, Benaud’s Test number – Richie disciples into North Sydney Oval on November 10.
“We were looking at the schedule for the summer and we noticed the one Test was here in Sydney, and the Richies started in Sydney, so we thought, this is perfect,” Hennessey told cricket.com.au.
“We’ll be at day two of all the men’s Tests this summer, so we thought it would be good to go to the women’s Test, especially being a day-nighter.
“We’re not sure what to expect, but it’s an intimate ground and we’d love to have a big impact and make it as good as we possibly can.
“We’d love a strong continent of female Richies, and as many male Richies as we can get as well.”
It’s hoped the historic first pink-ball Ashes Test will draw strong crowds to the boutique North Sydney venue, with a chance to watch the world’s best players at close quarters.
For their part, the Richies hope to add to the atmosphere on day two through song and will spend the next month brain-storming lyrics about Rachael Haynes’ Australians.
“It’s great fun, even at our pre-match functions everyone rocks up a little hesitant dressed in a suit, then we hand out the wigs and the microphones and everyone has a laugh and sing a few songs and before you know it you’re having the time of your life,” Hennessey said.
“Our next challenge is to write some songs.
“We’ve got a bunch for the men but we haven’t had to write for women yet to we’ll have to get busy in the month.”
For more information about the Richies, visit www.therichies.com.au.
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes
First ODI Allan Border Field, October 22
Brisbane Charity Partner: Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust
Second ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 26
Third ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 29
Day-Night Test North Sydney Oval, November 9-12
First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17
North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation
Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19
Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21
Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT