Australia in South Africa 2011-12 November 16, 2011

An Aussie fan with a difference

Ian Reid is not your typical Australian cricket fan. For one thing, he's not Australian. In fact, he has never visited the country

Ian Reid is not your typical Australian cricket fan. For one thing, he's not Australian. In fact, he has never visited the country.

But at Australia's nets sessions at Newlands at the weekend, he was one of the few people who turned up to watch the team train. To watch them rebuild after their all-out-for-47 debacle.

He's as passionate in his support of Australia's side as just about anyone around the world. A South African who grew up in Cape Town, Reid, 25, has been enamoured with Australian cricket since the Steve Waugh era.

"I just thought Steve Waugh's die-hard attitude was a huge inspiration," he says. "I love that aggressive brand of cricket we used to play - no fear."

In his distinctly Capetonian accent, Reid uses the word "we" without hesitation. This is his team. Ricky Ponting from Launceston, Mitchell Johnson from Townsville. Ian Reid from Cape Town.

"My world was cricket, growing up," he says. "I just found a natural pride and inspiration following Australian cricket. I liked the players a lot. I find it similar to music. I've always felt that you don't pick an instrument, the instrument picks you. I've felt the same with the sport team that I follow. It picked me. It was the team that inspired me."

During the day, Reid works in marketing and sales. During his spare time, he writes for a supporters' blog that he started during the 2008-09 series against India, when public opinion was turning against the Australians. Through the blog, he has discovered he is not alone.

"I've met people in India who love the baggy greens, surprisingly even people in England who like them," he says. "There are quite a few people in South Africa who are fanatical about either New Zealand, which you find a lot, or Australia."

He's even a fan of South Australia in the domestic competitions and tries to find live streaming of Redbacks' matches online whenever he can. As for live cricket, he has been to nine Australia games, all in South Africa, and was in the crowd as the batsmen capitulated last Thursday. All the same, he does not see all doom and gloom.

"You have to put it down as just a freak cricket match," he says. "It was a very weird game. Seeing it live, it didn't really affect all of us as badly, although when Hussey dropped that catch off the last ball of the day, then it sank in. Then you felt it.

"But with the new selection panel, which I think will be a bit more on the pulse of Australian cricket, I'm a bit more positive. I know we've got the talent, I know we've got the stocks. Hopefully more consistent policies will bring about the change."

And maybe one day he'll get to Australia to see it.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on January 2, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    Are you serious? I am not so sure about the legitimacy of your facts. Seems kinda bogus.

  • testli5504537 on December 21, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    Are there any fans that support SA vehemently but do not live in Soiuth Africa?

  • testli5504537 on December 11, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Whaddya know! We're the same ilk mate! Indian - never been to Australia...but a big fan to the Baggy Greens...been backing them since 1995-96 (thats when I really started watching cricket), and particularly enjoyed watching Gilly, Pidge, Warney, Binga and Punter at full tilt. I was almost killed when I cheered for Punter when he was butchering the Indian bowling in the 2003 WC final. (I'm also a fan of the Italian Football team and AC Milan..but I suppose thats because I've lived there). Great to hear about it..would try to follow your blog!

  • testli5504537 on December 7, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Very interesting read. He has the courage to follow his heart and not worry unduly about what the rest of the world thinks. Looking at the letter, it does seem that he is not alone. I watched the Australians first in Madras and that was Richie Benaud'"s team in 59. I have watched Australia win the world cup in England in 99, been to South africa for the 2003 world cup and the west Indies in 2007. Autralia have won all three. I have never been to Australia but have followed the team and its success for long. In an ideal world, why should anyone support his country only ? Sports fans should not have boundaries, or so I feel. I will watch the Indian tour of Australia with great interest. Our team has great players while Australia is in transition and started to win again. A fascinating contest on offer. Reid what is your prediction? sridhar

  • testli5504537 on December 6, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    I am an indian,but i support aussies thats just becoz the way they play,be it cricket or hockey.They also have a great sporting culture.I still remember in one of the world cup football match they gave a very hard time for the italians,so instead of cribbing we(indians) should work hard to stay on top in any sport be it cricket or hockey or football.ALL THE BEST FOR BOTH THE TEAMS FOR THE TOUR DOWN UNDER.

  • testli5504537 on November 25, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    he is just replica of me...

  • testli5504537 on November 24, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    oh yes, well done on Letters and Numbers Brydon. enjoyed ur efforts. L and N - another great 'head game'.

  • testli5504537 on November 24, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    interesting. i find i cannot support a country/team. cricket is my passion no matter who is playing or where. cricket is a game of strategy and talent against the conditions and other teams. love it.

  • testli5504537 on November 18, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    I think Ian is a fantastic blogger and very passionate about Australian Cricket. I think it is not wrong to support a team which is not your country's; after all it is one's own opinion and we have to respect that. I am from India, although I am not as big a fan of Australian Cricket as Ian is, I like Australian Cricket and have always liked Ian's work in his blog. Nice to hear of a fan like him.

  • testli5504537 on November 18, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    me too a huge aussie fan....they r building up nicely.i can see a streak in clarke that makes him a cool captain and the one who can lead them to redemption.

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