Darwin: Cricket has been played at a few unlikely venues over the years but perhaps none as unusual as Darwin, the setting for the first Test between Australia and Bangladesh which starts on Friday.
The capital of Australia’s Northern Territory is a sprawling city known for being bombed by the Japanese during the Second World War and flattened by a cyclone on Christmas Eve 1974.
The Northern Territory is the heartland of Australia’s Aboriginal community and Darwin’s 70,000 inhabitants are as rugged a people as you could meet in Australia.
Darwin was chosen as a host to help Australia fulfil their commitment to the ICC’s world Test championship, which decrees that all ten Test-playing nations must play each other home and away within a five-year period.
Darwin’s Marrara Oval is normally an Australian Rules Football ground and has never hosted a first-class cricket match.
The Australian team has entered into the irreverent spirit of the match by bringing their families with them, taking their children on visits to crocodile farms and nature sanctuaries.