More than 5,000 pies, 20,000 buckets of chips and 180,000 litres of beer have been trucked into The Gabba as final preparations begin for one of the great rivalries of international sport.
The First Test of the Vodafone Men’s Ashes at The Gabba from 8-12 December fires up Australia’s defence of the Ashes against England.
Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the first day of the First Test was a sell-out.
“It’s terrific to see the First Test back at The Gabba where it should be,” Mr Hinchliffe said. “The Ashes at The Gabba is one of Australia’s premier cricket events.
“So, it’s not surprising the first day is a sell-out and subsequent days are also selling quickly. The Australian team will have the enthusiastic support of a roaring Queensland crowd at The Gabba.
“While England’s Balmy Army is smaller this year with the pandemic limiting enlistment to around 1,100 loyal local fans.”
The First Test kicks off a summer of world-class cricket at The Gabba including the BBL from 19 December to 19 January and the Dettol T20I night match against Sri Lanka, on 13 February 2022.
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer Nick Hockley said the first Vodafone Men’s Ashes Test at The Gabba is going to set up a series for the ages.
“The excitement and anticipation for the Vodafone Men’s Ashes Series is building and we can’t wait for the first Test to begin at The Gabba,” Mr Hockley said.
“All eyes will be on that first ball in what is one of the greatest rivalries in world sport.
“It is brilliant for both players and fans that The Gabba will see a strong crowd and we are grateful to all involved for their support to put on an exceptional event.”
The Gabba General Manager Mark Zundans said the Ashes would start an exciting summer of cricket.
“The Ashes is one of the world’s greatest rivalries and one of those events that really excites and unites fans across the nation and hosting the first Test at The Gabba is a point of pride for myself and the rest of the team and a great way to start the season,” Mr Zundans said.
“It is always busy leading up to the event, we’re fully stocked with food and drinks to carry us across the five days, and we’ll have between 800 to 1,100 staff each day to help the event run smoothly.
“The best thing fans can do to ensure a great day out is to check The Gabba website, as conditions vary by event, particularly during the pandemic, so plan your trip, check-in and be aware of what you can bring in as items like ice bricks and commercial food are not permitted.”
Head of the grounds team David Sandurski said the field was in top condition, following recent rain.
“We’ve had a considerable amount of rain, but The Gabba has a good drainage system and we’ve also done aeration work to help speed up the process, so the field has handled the wet really well,” Mr Sandurski said.
“Our focus has really been on trying to prevent the wicket block from getting too wet, which can lead to disease in the turf, so we’re covering it and removing excess water.
“So far the wicket has a good coverage of grass that will hopefully aid in producing a traditional Gabba pitch as long as the weather plays its part.”
Gates open at 8:30am on Wednesday and Thursday, 9:00am on Friday and Saturday, and 9:30am on Sunday, with first ball at 10:00am each day.
For cricket fans:
- Plan your trip – leave your car at home, public transport is free. Translink has put on additional event services before first ball.
- Print or download your ticket and install the QLD Check-in app.
- Arrive early, know your gate.
- Travel light – bags must be smaller than A4, no commercial food and drinks, strollers must be able to fit under your seat, professional style cameras and hard eskies and ice bricks aren’t permitted – check FAQ’s for more details.
- For event information and tickets visit The Gabba website or check Facebook for updates.