Expats: The Rules in Sport of Supporting Your Team

I’m not a cricket fan; football is my sport of choice. But I am aware that there is a thing called ‘The Ashes’ which is a Test cricket series played between my old country, England, and my new one, Australia.

CricketerThis series, which is played every couple of years, is currently taking place right now. This acted as a timely reminder for me of the importance of the rules when it comes to supporting ‘your team’.

Just for clarification of the following, I want to reiterate that my old country is England and my new country is Australia.

The rules of following your team

This is how I deal with it:

  • Whenever my old country is taking part in any sporting event, I support them. It’s the way it works.
  • If my old country is taking part in a sporting event, and my new country is taking part in the same sporting event, I still support my old country. It’s the way it works.

Bonus

  • If my old country is taking part in a sporting event, and my new country is taking part in the same sporting event, and my old country gets knocked out whilst my new country is still involved, I can then support my new country.

That’s a bonus of dual citizenship.

But of course, when my old country is playing my new country head-to-head in any kind of sport, I support my old country.

Why?

The way I see it, there are a couple of reasons. First, you should never forget your roots, never forget where you came from. I was born in England, spent most of my life in England, and have supported England throughout that time.

That doesn’t change just because I moved to Australia, as much as I love it here.

The second reason is that there is a natural rivalry between the English living in Australia and Australians. As a ‘Pom’ living in Australia, if Australia ever beat England in any sport, then I am going to get it in the neck from Australians.

It’s the way it works.

So when England beat Australia in spectacular fashion, especially in The Ashes, then it’s an opportunity for a Pom like me to stick it back at them.

Not being a cricket fan myself, it was actually an image that I stumbled upon that brought this thrashing to my attention…

cricket batsImage courtesy of Cricket Country

For those of you who are also not interested in cricket, here’s a quick roundup of the Australian disaster, gleaned from the upcoming video:

  • Worst batting collapse in living memory
  • Poorest Australian performance since 1936
  • Australia all out before lunch for just 60
  • Top Australian scorer; 13
  • Lambs to the slaughter

That’s all I know about it, but it sounds pretty bad for the Aussies.

Howzat indeed.

G’day mates.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • ifeetugga April 30, 2016, 4:25 pm | Link

    Hey Bob, I hope that you’re doing well. Having read through your post, I’d like to add my two cents on the subject of why you should support the old or new country. I can understand that this could be a sensitive issue, so I hope that my comments are not deemed offensive.
    It’s natural to support the country of your birth, so in a way, you supporting England in cricket can be justified. But here’s the thing; are you simply a Pom now? Surely you worked hard to become an Aussie-the long and arduous immigration process to become a PR, waiting many years to become a citizen, working hard to integrate into Australian society-surely this shows effort. Also, Australia gave you a lot too once you arrived with your family. Surely that can’t be denied.
    Personally, as a Canadian of Bangladeshi heritage, I always feel a strong allegiance towards Canada. The country has given me a lot by the Almighty’s grace. Since cricket is yet to catch on in Canada(it was popular in Canada during the nineteenth century, believe it or not), it’s not very likely that Canada and Bangladesh will play each other very often(so far twice, with both having won one match each if I’m correct). Now assuming that I got the same love and sense of belonging in Australia like I did in Canada, I would personally feel a strong allegiance towards Australia. Otherwise, I’d say, I’m being ungrateful. So if Australia and Bangladesh face each other, my support would be towards the Aussies. To me, that’s the right and moral thing to do.
    No doubt that roots are important, but we live in an era of globalization. A sense of belonging itself can create roots. So why not have roots in the new country?
    But then again, it’s just sports, and we have the right to choose as free human beings. Didn’t many black inmates support the opposition team-be it rugby, cricket or soccer- during the dark days of apartheid in South Africa? I guess that was exceptional, mainly as a form of protest.
    Like I said, it’s just my personal opinion. I just hope that it’s something to consider from a logical point of view.
    Cheers!

    • BobinOz May 2, 2016, 9:10 pm | Link

      It’s an interesting point of view ifeetugga, one I have never really considered before but have now given a great deal of thought to, having read your suggestion. For me your theory has one great big fat drawback, it’s simply isn’t as much fun.

      What can possibly give any man more pleasure than arriving as a migrant into another land, and having their home country thrash the pants off of their new hosts and then rubbing that thrashing in the noses of all your new found native friends?

      Not only is it great fun, I think it’s expected. Nobody here in Australia would have really wanted or expected me to be sad when England thrashed the Aussies. On the contrary, they would want me to gloat, they would want that knowing that one day they could get me back.

      And when that moment comes for them to get me back, they will take it with glee. They will get the same fun I had, but double. And we all get more fun by doing it this way.

      That’s my view anyway, but then each to his own 🙂

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