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The umpires are on their way: some days at the Lords Test

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2016 by kmflett

The Umpires are on their way: some days at the Lords Test

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The first Lords Test of the year (there are often two but if there are the second invariably clashes with the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival in Dorset) is a sign of summer.

I’ve been going to Lords since the 1960s, then with my late father. I’m not sure it has really changed all that much. The Tavern bar is sadly no more (the beer is much better now though, I’ll post on that later) and the seats have significantly improved from the days when cushions were hired separately to put on the wooden benches.

Lords is certainly one of my favourite UK grounds (though I do like New Road Worcester). The space with the nursery ground plus the history, including of course the statue of WG Grace are imposing.

I’m not sure that all the members of the MCC have moved with the times but Lords has. There is wi-fi which is now mostly usable and a fast draining pitch.

I was there with my partner Megan on the Friday of the Sri Lanka Test. We had a restricted view seats (a structural pillar obscured a complete view of the wicket) in the Edrich stand but one could hardly complain at paying £30. On Sunday we paid more and had very comfortable seats in the Grandstand with an excellent view, though thanks to traditional summer weather there wasn’t quite as much to see as might have been hoped.

On the Sunday we met up with Tim Lezard (who organises the Tolpuddle Festival), his son Billy and Cardiff GMB man Ian Bounds. Talk was of cricket politics, beards and Jeremy Corbyn.

There is concern for the future of cricket, the fact that as it’s not on terrestrial TV exposure to it is limited for a wider audience and of course a unanimous agreement that Test Match Special is still doing a great job.

The Friday’s play was a bit dull- the wicket was quite flat. On Sunday though there wasn’t much more than a single session of play I thought there was more ebb and flow the game and hence more interest.

Rain delays at Lords are handled better than they were in my day (not least because you can check yourself for updates on the interwebs and twitter) but there is still far too much time spent messing around after the rain has stopped, only for play to start and find that the rain returns.

Overall though going to Lords remains an enjoyable experience. If the tickets were priced at £30 generally I’d feel that we’d be getting to something close to the experiences I had in earlier decades. You did not feel you had to pay attention to every last ball (no big screens then either) and could meet people, have a drink and generally reflect on the crisis of capitalism without feeling that you had paid so much that even missing a ball meant you were wasting money.

May be such a relaxed way of watching sport is less appropriate in the ‘for the minute’ world we live In (and I’m as guilty as any of operating in that milieu) but I’d hope not.

 

 

 

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One Response to “The umpires are on their way: some days at the Lords Test”

  1. Sadly, this is where we have to disagree. I can’t abide Lords.

    Oval ftw. 😉

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