Dear Cricket Australia’s Media Accreditation Team,
My name is Dennis Freedman and you have chosen to reject my media accreditation application for the third year in a row.
It’s like Groundhog Day, only this story doesn’t involve a native American rodent being used to predict the coming and goings of the seasons.
Let’s take a look at how this played out.
In mid September, I remembered that I better log on to your accreditation site and apply. You know, the usual stuff.
What’s your name? Send us in a picture. Who will you be writing for? Have you ever taken money from a bookie in return for pitch information? Have you ever gambled against a team that you were playing in at odds of 500 to 1 and collected? Have you ever watched porn in the MCG press box?
I had all my character references ready. All my police checks. Even my Labor Party membership card, and I fucking hate unions. But it seems that this is a prerequisite these days.
But unfortunately, by the time I got to you, the door was closed:
On one hand, this was a disaster. A third year in a row not being able to sit in the press box. Not being able to Instagram my free lunchtime meal. Not having access to the free wifi to keep my tweeting numbers up. Not being able to listen to the tap tap tap of keyboards as professional journalists pump out their daily 1000 words.
However, on the other hand, perhaps this was a blessing cunningly disguised as a shit sandwich? I mean, I wouldn’t have to pen a third straight rejection letter retort. You hadn’t officially rejected me. I was too slow to give you that opportunity.
Also, it would mean I wouldn’t feel compelled to sit in the press box to watch the matches. Rather, I’d be free of work pressures and could instead watch the games with my mates. Like a normal member of society. Drinking mid strength beer and eating luke warm pies made of questionable meat like product.
Maturely, I settled on taking the positives out of yet another stake to the heart in my search for validation amongst the travelling cricket press scrum.
Then September 22nd happened. It was a day before my birthday and Cricket Australia had decided to send me a wonderful gift.
Excuse me? I didn’t even bloody apply? It just reassured me that cricket administration globally has gone to the dogs.
Anyhow, never look a gift horse in the mouth right? So I tweeted and Facebooked everyone I knew to let them know that I was now a bona fide Ashes journalist. A man of integrity and substance and everything that this ancient sporting ritual stands for. The pressure was now on me to do previous Ashes heroes like Scott Borthwick proud.
I dropped a quick email into the guy who was managing the accreditation process to thank him. It was the polite thing to do.
Then this happened:
Well, that’s a little inconvenient. How was I supposed to send in a confirmation of my submitted application when I never actually submitted an application?
So all of this got me thinking. What if Cricket Australia were trolling me? What if, this was their time for revenge after all those nasty and horrible things I’ve said about them over the journey?
Brilliantly simple in its execution. Totally brutal in its impact. Well played Cricket Australia.
I wrote back to the Bupa Support Team Cricket Australia’s Magellan Media Accreditation Unit and fessed up. Tail between my legs. A beaten man. Shattered.
Sorry guys. I never applied. I’m a fraud. A phoney. A ring-in. Well, not even a ring-in as I never got to the front gate.
So for the third year in a row, Cricket Australia have deemed me unworthy of a press pass. It means that yet again, I no longer have to submit to their rules of accreditation. All those encumbrances about not embarrassing the sponsors or being banned from tweeting live scores from the ground or being able to ask Eoin Morgan about the time he made a sex tape in Hobart.
But it also means that if and when I chose to attend a match, I’m not working. I get to experience it like the average punter. With my mates. My kids. No competition for a scoop. No rush to file a match report. No need to look professional with a Macbook that I can’t afford or some kind of retro cool manbag.
Yes, I’m probably a little bitter (I’m not really. However, for the sake of this story, let’s pretend that I am). But on the positive side, without Cricket Australia’s annual rejection, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to write stories like this.
A few days later, after a bit more back and forth over obligatory chit chat, I received this:
I can’t wait to tuck into the vegetable pasties at the Stars versus Renegades match at the MCG. But it won’t be in the press box.
Who wants to watch a match with 80,000 other people behind glass?
See you next year Cricket Australia Media Unit. Will four rejections in a row count as a double hat-trick?