When the Gladesville ‘Rissoles’ RSL cricket team won their grand final at the weekend, it seemed nothing could put a dampener on the celebrations.
Then they woke up.
Several Rissoles players decided to mark Saturday’s victory in the Inner-West Harbour Cricket Association’s B-Grade decider by getting the letters “H G I C” tattooed on their bodies.
The acronym, spelling out “how good is cricket”, was a permanent reminder of that winning feeling and a tribute to the game they love.
But when they woke to news some member of the Australian team had admitted to ball tampering during a Test in South Africa, they were shattered.
“To see it from the top end of the cricket scale is pretty upsetting, to wake up with something permanent on my leg [saying] ‘How good is cricket’,” Rissoles captain Tim Sewell said.
Jack, another Rissoles player, was so pleased with the win he had the team logo tattooed on his chest.
“I was very, very upset about it,” he said of the scandal.
“I watch cricket all the time … I couldn’t watch it, I didn’t even want to watch it. This is a disaster,” he said.
During play on day three of the Test match in South Africa, Australian Cameron Bancroft was filmed rubbing the ball with sticky tape.
He later admitted he had been trying to scuff one side of the ball to promote “reverse swing”.
Australian captain Steve Smith admitted the team’s “leadership group” knew about the plan.
Despite their disappointment, the Rissoles players said they had no regrets about the ink.
“To then see the Australian cricket team to do something like that [it is upsetting], but still no regrets,” Mr Sewell said.
He said his opinion of the Australian team had changed.
“Cricket is so important to us, especially we play it all day Saturday and then we were watching it all night on Sunday, it’s been a part of our culture,” Mr Sewell said.
“Every time the cricket is out here in the summer we go to the Ashes, we go to the Boxing Day Test.”