I’ve been busting to go to an Ashes cricket match ever since I got hooked on the thrilling 2005 series. I was too slow to score tickets for 2009 or 2013, but this time around I entered the ballot for the Second Test at Lord’s. I got lucky with two seats for Day 2. Woohoo!
I know most of the people visiting this blog are not from UK or Oz, so to briefly explain: The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between Australia and England. It started in 1882 and happens twice every four years, with the two nations switching hosting duties. The series consists of five matches that each take up to five days to play. After all those days, sometimes it still ends in a draw. These longass matches are known as “Test” cricket as this gruelling form of the game is a “‘test’ of the relative strength of the two sides”.
You may be thinking, well that sounds bloody boring. I used to feel the same! When I was a kid we only had two TV channels, and Test cricket hogged one of them all summer long. And when I got to university I’d curse those months when those pyjama-wearing bastards were on instead of Days Of Our Lives. Who cared about Australia vs England? What about John and Marlena vs Stefano Dimera?!
Lord’s Cricket Ground is in London and is known as “the home of cricket”. I’d been looking forward the day for so many months I thought it might be an anti-climax, but it was fab from the moment we climbed the steps into the Edrich Stand and got our first look at the famous grounds. The weather was perfect, the match exciting, the atmosphere merry, and best of all our stand had a roof over it so I didn’t have to wear my daggy sun hat.
- The contrast of posh folks and ultra casual Aussies
- Seeing how freaking fast those bowlers hurl the ball down the pitch, after only listening to cricket on the radio these past few years.
- Seeing Australia’s Steve Smith reach his double century (200 runs) in the morning
- Watching Australia’s bowlers rip through England’s top order in the afternoon
- So many red trousers.
- Watching the steward in front of us doze on and off all day, the most unruly thing he had to deal with being a champagne cork popping onto the field from the stand above us.
- Stopping at Abbey Road on the way back to the hotel to watch people strut over the famous zebra crossing.
- Gareth going on a day-long hunger strike after we went to a nearby cafe for breakfast and forgot to look at the prices beforehand and wound up with a £40 bill.
Australia ended up thrashing England by 405 runs to level the series at 1-1. But then the tables turned again today with England kicking Australia’s arse on Day 1 of the 3rd Test. Hmmm. This is when it’s good to be a duel UK/Oz citizen…