Saturday, May 19, 2007

Excuse me, dear sir

Today I went to Lords, the home of cricket, which conveniently enough is located only 20 minutes walk away from the home of me. My ticket came courtesy of Walshie and his boss Rex - thanks guys and shout outs to the crew at Eversheds. Walshie, Warwick and I agonised in the morning about what constituted suitable attire for Lords - there's nothing more embarrassing than being turned back by the bouncers at a cricket ground because you're wearing the wrong sort of shoes. On the one hand, there was the traditional Aussie dress of board shorts, singlet and thongs. On the other hand, there was the safe choice of neat jeans and a blazer. Luckily, we went with the safe choice. The crowd at Lords must have been the most refined, quiet, well-dressed and polite that I've ever seen. Where else does the crowd reward a fine shot from the opposition team with a round of applause? Where else do people say "My dear sir, would you please excuse us" when they're trying to get past you to take up their seats? Where else do they serve alcohol in glass glasses at a sporting event? All round, the Lords experience feels very strange and unnatural. It also felt strange and unnatural to watch cricket being played by two countries which were both not Australia. I mean, I've got plenty of time for the West Indies and watching England play is always entertaining because they've got no skills and they've got Monty Panesar in their team. But it's not the same as watching Haydos flex his muscles at the crease or Ricky Ponting flourish his bat like he's opening an umbrella every time he wants to let the ball go. And there's something special about the sustained abuse that Glenn McGrath can hurl at the opposing batsman that other cricketing nations just can't replicate. So after sitting through a couple of sessions, we'd had enough and decided to wander off to the pub to watch the FA Cup Final, which deserves a posting of its own, but will have to wait until another time.

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