DOWN UNDER THE BRIDGE

Posted on: Tue 20 Aug 2013

Tomorrow (Wednesday), the Australian cricket team as well as Chelsea Football Club will be in sporting action in London, so Sunday was the opportunity for the tourists to take in live Premier League football.

They chose Stamford Bridge with a large number of the Aussie squad that have been competing against England for the Ashes this summer there for our win over Hull.

Along with some of their backroom staff, they watched from the West Stand as Oscar and Frank Lampard scored the goals that got the season started in style, and the second of those strikes would have been especially enjoyed by Australian bowler Peter Siddle.

In the Chelsea Museum where the cricketers had gathered before the game, he told the official Chelsea website who he was most excited about seeing in action.

'It is Lampard, I have always liked watching him play,' Siddle said. 'David Luiz is a nice player to watch too, and John Terry, but I like Lampard - just the way he plays and attacks.'

It is an appropriate preference given our midfielder was a talented schoolboy batsman until football alone had to take centre stage in his life. He maintains a keen interest in cricket.

'I think that tends to happen with a lot of elite sportsmen, you ask them what they did when they were juniors and they tended to be pretty multi-talented,' notes Siddle.

'I started playing soccer when I was about 11 years old and I played for four years and I always had a lot of mates who were highly involved. In the end cricket won out and I can't complain, I guess it has paid off for the best, but I still enjoy having a kick-around in the park.'

The Aussies' spinner Nathan Lyons was another who played football as a kid and he too was at Sunday's game, as was their leading wicket-taker in this Ashes series, Ryan Harris.

'I love my football, I follow it very closely,' Harris told chelseafc.com.

'In Australia we get a lot of games live every weekend and most are on in a good hour of the night and we are able to stay up and watch them. There is lots of support over there, the pubs are packed out at night watching and 90,000 turned out each time to watch Premier League sides play in Melbourne in the summer.

'One of the lucky things we are able to do is come to places like Stamford Bridge and experience the atmosphere, and obviously this is a big day with Mourinho coming back.'

It is days such as the match at Stamford Bridge that help the touring cricketers cope with being away from home for so long, and some had been to the England v Scotland game and the British Grand Prix too. For Siddle, Sunday was not his first visit to our ground this summer. He earlier came on a stadium tour during some time off.

'It was amazing, to see the set up and get in the rooms, it was quite exciting,' he recalls.

'I have met a few soccer players over the years and they are good guys and I like watching them play. I have always had a big interest in following the Aussies over here - we have had quite a few and they have done pretty well - and now Mark Schwarzer is here.'

For the Australian cricketers, it has not gone so well this summer with England already the series winners ahead the final test match starting tomorrow. There is a rematch for the two sides down under this winter.

'We finish up at The Oval and then we pretty much get home, recover up, and get back into it again,' said Siddle. 'It has been a disappointing tour for us as a team and we know we have to turn things around but we are going to be prepared and more well-suited back home, and hopefully we can reverse those results and get a few things going our way.'

- Click for more information on Chelsea's stadium tours.