February 25, 2016

Happy hours

Drinks during cricket aren't all about electrolytes and protein isolates

George Lipman / © Getty Images

While cricket's drinks breaks can be mundane affairs, even when the drinks trolley resembles a cola bottle, drinking during (and after) the game can be as intoxicating as watching the action.

Did the chap on the left above build those guns by repeatedly hefting that brick of a flask to his lips? His friend has the saggy look of a can drinker. It was a good day to be at the SCG - day three of the 1968-69 Test against West Indies. Doug Walters completed his first century against West Indies (his next four innings were: 110, 50, 242, 103), Eric Freeman made 76, and the day ended with Roy Fredericks and Rohan Kanhai batting together. Australia went on to win the match by ten wickets and the series 3-1.

Alan Purcell / © Getty Images

Another good day at the SCG, this time for India. Karsan Ghavri's (top left) helmet hair and striped pant suit apart, they look like they are having a great time, with a few cold ones to celebrate their innings win over Australia. Ghavri and Gundappa Viswanath, on his right, made half-centuries, Dilip Vengsarkar (in front, flashing victory signs) batted for more than three hours for 48. Ashok Mankad (in spectacles) made 16 in what was his final Test.

Adrian Murrell / © Getty Images

Sometimes the best drinks you can have are in the opposition dressing room after a defeat. Ian Botham and Viv Richards enjoy a drink or two after West Indies' 298-run victory in Bridgetown in 1981 (the one with that Holding over to Boycott).

Deshkalyan Chowdhury / © AFP

But there are times when drinking at a game can be a matter of desperation. In Guwahati, 2007, spectators struggle to fill their water bottles from an open tap on the other side of the fencing.

Tsering Topgyal / © Associated Press

In a happier setting, men follow the India-Pakistan 2015 World Cup match over cups of tea in Delhi.

Nishi Narayanan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo