At the last Dyldam Parramatta Eels home game, when the Eels came away 36-6 victors over the Canberra Raiders at Pirtek Stadium (Round 6, Saturday 9 April), two international cricketers put their friendship to the side to cheer on their rugby league team.
2016 Eels ambassador and Sydney Sixers cricketer Sean Abbott came up trumps that day.
Abbott has been a Blue and Gold fan all his life, with the passion running through his family veins.
“My grandfather has been working in the sheds since 1975 and growing up I was always an Eels fan. It has been in my family for a long time and I just grew up an Eels supporter.” Abbott said.
“My experience so far has been good and obviously the scoreboard is going in our favour. I haven’t been to the football here at Pirtek Stadium for a few years so it’s good to be back,”.
Juggling cricket commitments over 12 months of the year and attending games to watch his beloved Eels can be tough, however Abbott was looking forward to cheering on the Eels throughout the year.
“A full house at Pirtek, it’s obviously a great atmosphere and spurring on the players is just as good.” Abbott said.
“I’d like to think I am a winning good luck charm so I will try and get to as many games as I can. I miss coming out to the footy, I am having a good afternoon today and hopefully we can keep winning.”
Abbott brought Australian Test cricketer, Sydney Sixers team mate, close friend and Canberra Raiders supporter Nathan Lyon along to the clash.
With the Eels coming away 36-6 winners on the day, there was plenty of banter between the two.
“Nathan hasn’t said much this afternoon once we scored that first try,” Abbott said.
“I took the risk in bringing him out. I know if the Raiders got up I wouldn’t hear the end of it but the Eels got up quite convincingly and it’s been good to get one up over Nath as well.”
And despite not being able to cheer his side to victory, Lyon enjoyed his experience at Pirtek Stadium.
“It has just been great to come here with a good mate, to watch a good game of footy. We don’t get this opportunity very often so to come out and watch, it’s been good to do it with a good mate,” Lyon said.
“I have been pretty impressed [with the Blue and Gold Army]. They are very passionate out here, so it’s been good to witness.”
“It’s a great spectacle being here at Pirtek.”