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‘It kills me’: The Richies’ heartbreaking Test call

Supporter group The Richies have become synonymous with the Sydney Test. But they, too, have become another casualty of COVID-19. Follow our live blog. Ben HorneNews Corp Australia Sports Newsroom January 7, 2021 8:05AM LIVE Last updated January 1, 1970 10:00AM AEDT The cream, the bone, the white, the off-white, the ivory and the beige…

Supporter group The Richies have become synonymous with the Sydney Test. But they, too, have become another casualty of COVID-19. Follow our live blog.

Ben Horne

News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom

January 7, 2021 8:05AM

LIVE

Last updated January 1, 1970 10:00AM AEDT

The cream, the bone, the white, the off-white, the ivory and the beige will all be missing at the Sydney Test this year.

Richie Benaud’s fan club ‘The Richies’ have been an iconic feature at the SCG for 12 years but the COVID curse has caught up with them too.

Co-founder Michael Hennessy said ‘The Richies’ made the difficult call to cancel their annual involvement on day two of the Test on Tuesday.

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Crowd restrictions meant only 20 Richies would be given tickets, and considering members include nurses and frontline health workers as well as Richies from regional NSW told not to attend the Test, the decision was made that the movement should not be an exclusive event.

On top of that, it was felt the usual trumpet playing, singing and crowd interactions just didn’t fit the vibe of 2021 in the midst of a pandemic.

It’s with a heavy heart that the ‘Benaud Ballads’ will be put on ice this year, and ‘The Richie’s’ will be watching day two from couches around Sydney – dressed up but with no place to go.

“The writing was on the wall that it’s time to hit pause for this 2021 summer and just come back bigger and better next summer,” said Hennessy.

“It’s hard. We love cricket and love supporting the Aussie cricket team through thick and thin, but it’s unusual circumstances and sometimes you can’t do the things you want to do.

“This is one of those times when we’ve just got to be a little bit sensible and be careful given we have a big group, singing, chanting and interacting and being a bit more outgoing than the average supporter.

“It kills me, but it’s probably not the right time for that unfortunately.”

Hennessy said it was amazing the cricket could go ahead with 10,000 fans in any case and praised the work of Cricket Australia and the SCG to make it happen – even with ‘The Richies’ playing along from home.

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