On Friday I had an opportunity to see England play Australia in a One Day International cricket match, at Lords. Lords of course is the home of cricket, so it’s something I wanted to do at least once.
When we arrived in London the match was officially sold out, and had been for three months. Amazingly I managed to score a returned ticket through the Lords website, for normal price. Nice. I thus avoided having to bargain with the scalpers on the morning of the match. (I met 5 of them as I wandered down from the tube station!)
The day before the match Jenny and I called in to Lords to pick up the ticket. It was late afternoon and final preparations were underway for the big day. We had to go through a security check but once we were through we went for a wander. We met the Aussie team bus driver who tipped us off that the Aussies were practising in the nets. So we strolled over and checked them out. There were no official tours available because of the match but we certainly enjoyed our self-guided tour. And surprisingly nobody kicked us out or even questioned us.
On the day of the match I was sitting in the Edrich stand, adjacent to the new media centre and facing The Pavillion. It was a great spot, with views of both scoreboards for the replays. I was surrounded by Poms and there were very few Aussies in the crowd.
Being the middle of Summer, it was a very mild day. We had a few showers early on and play was stopped on three occasions. In spite of that they managed to play out the whole match without having to reduce the number of overs. The sky went through a number of changes but when the sun broke through it was glorious. And the English kept saying so!
“Oooh, that’s a nice bit of sunshine! Mmmm, lovely! Oooh, better take my jacket off. Oooh, if I take my jacket off the clouds might come back!”
The fullhouse all basked in the occasional sunshine and soaked up the atmosphere. I chatted to all the people around me so it was pretty good fun. I was sitting between a teacher and a medical specialist, whose daughter was getting married the next day, with a couple of Jamaicans in front of me and an ex-Chicago Aussie behind.
The lunch break gave me a number of dining choices. Fish and chips, burger and chips, Jamie Oliver and chips, even Indian and chips. I went for the Indian. Met a few Aussies and chatted to some more Poms. Lots were sporting jackets and ties. “And how are you enjoying your Lords experience?” They really do think they are quite special just being there, and can’t imagine any place on earth rivalling their Lords!
Back to the cricket. The jackets kept going on, then coming off again with the intermittent sunshine. It hovered between about 15 and 22 degrees I would say.
The Ausies lost, but we were all winners.
Some people paid more than 700 pounds for their corporate packages, give or take a dozen cocktails in Cambodia. In addition to their ticket they received food, drink and the presence of a cricketer. They blew more in one day than many Asians earn in a year!!! Aah, the ways of the world.
Had a nice chat to an English chap at the subway station about cricket, the Olympics, Tour de France, Asia and so on. After 6 stops he then realised he was on the wrong train! The destination is never as important as the journey.