Monday, July 27, 2009

Postcard from the pitch

OK, so I'm not a huge cricket fan, and I'll admit to not following quite all of the rules (who can be bothered, this is a game that needs 3 umpires to make sure it's being played correctly); but even I know that an Ashes test match at Lords' is a big deal.

Lords' styles itself as 'The Home of Cricket', and the tube trains were full of just the type of man you'd expect to find making his way there: navy blazer, chambray shirt, beige trousers (sharply creased), the occasional flash of rhubarb and custard in an MCC tie and a tight grip on the essential blue holdall for one's sandwiches. Of course an Ashes match attracts a much wider audience as well, so I was lost amongst a regiment of the Barmy Army and Aussies a long way from home.

England couldn't have this relationship with any other country. No one else would take the 'love to hate you' banter and bat it straight back the way the Aussies do. And the mix of rigid tradition and picnicking informality makes for a great English day out.
The third test starts at Edgbaston this week. Good luck, England.