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
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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

  • monster steam mop on January 2, 2012, 1:59 GMT

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

  • Ron Tamlin on December 21, 2011, 11:48 GMT

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

  • Ishan Ghosh 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!

  • ramanujam sridhar 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

  • vini 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.

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

    he is just replica of me...

  • ed 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'.

  • ed 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.

  • Shruthi Sridhar 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.

  • Umer Khan 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.

  • monster steam mop on January 2, 2012, 1:59 GMT

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

  • Ron Tamlin on December 21, 2011, 11:48 GMT

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

  • Ishan Ghosh 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!

  • ramanujam sridhar 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

  • vini 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.

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

    he is just replica of me...

  • ed 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'.

  • ed 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.

  • Shruthi Sridhar 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.

  • Umer Khan 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.

  • G.Venkatakrishnan on November 18, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Ian Reid is not alone. I am a 55 year old man from India and I am as much fanatical about the Australian team as any Australian would be( or perhaps more than them). I just love Ricky Ponting ( to me he is the role model- tough aggressive, result oriented and above all a great performer), Gilly, Warnie, Haydos, Watto, Pup and many more. My fascination for the Aussies started from the times of Ian Chappel and continues till today. Much like Ian Reid, I would term the Aussie team as " my team". I follow all their international matches on TV or live streaming and many of their domestic ones too, on Star Cricket. I just love the Aussies toooo much. And much like Reid, I too hope one day, I will visit Australia in Dec/ Jan so that I can watch my heroes live in action on their home turf, although I have seen them live in India

  • Rev on November 18, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    I feel as though we living here in Australia should pass that hat around and shout him a flight over for the Boxing Day test?

  • himanshu tiwari on November 17, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    right on mate!! i am sure we will bounce back..........and here is another baggy green fan all the way from india...

  • Cheech on November 17, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    I am sorry but I just think it is ridiculous being a South African and supporting Australia, because of the Waugh Cricket team, a true fan supports his team when they are losing. I think it is a joke him being an Aussie cricket supporter because of the dominant teams of past. It reminds me of many South Africans that all support Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea etc, all the teams that win but not a team in the Championship that has no chance of winning. I consider myself a Protea fan, born and raised in South Africa and very proud of fighting spirit and very proud of the guys that have represented the Proteas.

    It is such nonsense saying the team picks you, I guess he is a All Black fan or a Man U or Barcelona fan? I will never understand people supporting a country other than their own?

  • Warren Smith on November 16, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    nice to read this for me. im from CT as well and also love and respect the Australians. ill be following your blog with interest. :)

  • Prem on November 16, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    It really feels nice when someone from another country has a passion like Ian Reid s having for Aussies,We all should respect his feelings and feel proud on what we are......god bless him.

  • varun on November 16, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    This guy is replica of me...as an Indian I never used to to support them(India) whenever they play against Australia.My friends abhor me when i support Australia,but its my opinion and I have every right to support Australia. Good going Ian Reid!!!

  • Ahmed on November 16, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Well ..I Also love and respect Steve ..I still support SA but some of my favorite cricketers are aussies ..love and hate em with a passion. For love of the Game

  • Abdullah Mukarram on November 16, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    This article made for an interesting REID!!!! Hope he gets to Australia to know how his favorite team managed to remain on top for such a long time.

  • Joshua James on November 16, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    How great it is to another person just like me!!! I was born in India grew up here and have NEVER been to Australia!.. started watching cricket during the 1996 WC! The first game was Australia Vs India...guess what, Aussies became my eternal favorites! I would support Aus even when they play against India...And jus like Ian, i can pick up lots of positives from even the newlands game..All the games Aus lost in the past, was jus due to one bad session! So, i see lots of hope in the young team... I would believe, Aus can beat SA in J'berg and level the seires! Congrats to Ian and all other CO-Aussie supporters!

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  • Joshua James on November 16, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    How great it is to another person just like me!!! I was born in India grew up here and have NEVER been to Australia!.. started watching cricket during the 1996 WC! The first game was Australia Vs India...guess what, Aussies became my eternal favorites! I would support Aus even when they play against India...And jus like Ian, i can pick up lots of positives from even the newlands game..All the games Aus lost in the past, was jus due to one bad session! So, i see lots of hope in the young team... I would believe, Aus can beat SA in J'berg and level the seires! Congrats to Ian and all other CO-Aussie supporters!

  • Abdullah Mukarram on November 16, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    This article made for an interesting REID!!!! Hope he gets to Australia to know how his favorite team managed to remain on top for such a long time.

  • Ahmed on November 16, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Well ..I Also love and respect Steve ..I still support SA but some of my favorite cricketers are aussies ..love and hate em with a passion. For love of the Game

  • varun on November 16, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    This guy is replica of me...as an Indian I never used to to support them(India) whenever they play against Australia.My friends abhor me when i support Australia,but its my opinion and I have every right to support Australia. Good going Ian Reid!!!

  • Prem on November 16, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    It really feels nice when someone from another country has a passion like Ian Reid s having for Aussies,We all should respect his feelings and feel proud on what we are......god bless him.

  • Warren Smith on November 16, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    nice to read this for me. im from CT as well and also love and respect the Australians. ill be following your blog with interest. :)

  • Cheech on November 17, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    I am sorry but I just think it is ridiculous being a South African and supporting Australia, because of the Waugh Cricket team, a true fan supports his team when they are losing. I think it is a joke him being an Aussie cricket supporter because of the dominant teams of past. It reminds me of many South Africans that all support Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea etc, all the teams that win but not a team in the Championship that has no chance of winning. I consider myself a Protea fan, born and raised in South Africa and very proud of fighting spirit and very proud of the guys that have represented the Proteas.

    It is such nonsense saying the team picks you, I guess he is a All Black fan or a Man U or Barcelona fan? I will never understand people supporting a country other than their own?

  • himanshu tiwari on November 17, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    right on mate!! i am sure we will bounce back..........and here is another baggy green fan all the way from india...

  • Rev on November 18, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    I feel as though we living here in Australia should pass that hat around and shout him a flight over for the Boxing Day test?

  • G.Venkatakrishnan on November 18, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Ian Reid is not alone. I am a 55 year old man from India and I am as much fanatical about the Australian team as any Australian would be( or perhaps more than them). I just love Ricky Ponting ( to me he is the role model- tough aggressive, result oriented and above all a great performer), Gilly, Warnie, Haydos, Watto, Pup and many more. My fascination for the Aussies started from the times of Ian Chappel and continues till today. Much like Ian Reid, I would term the Aussie team as " my team". I follow all their international matches on TV or live streaming and many of their domestic ones too, on Star Cricket. I just love the Aussies toooo much. And much like Reid, I too hope one day, I will visit Australia in Dec/ Jan so that I can watch my heroes live in action on their home turf, although I have seen them live in India