Thursday, January 11, 2007

' Bridge over Troubled Water

Sometimes after a severe trauma like a 5-0 whitewash it's the simple things that can bring people back to reality and make you realise that life WILL go on, and the world will keep turning.

For me, it was the 'Nottingham' postmark on the envelope lying on the doormat. That simple red circle of post office ink said that the Trent Bridge Test Match tickets had arrived. A life-affirming moment indeed.

Despite the abject nature of the performance Down Under, which surely reached is nadir in the 20/20 match a few days ago, you needed some sort of reminder that we do still have quite a decent team - just as long as that team doesn't include the name 'Anderson' anywhere. There's a good arguement to say that below Australia (waaaayyyy below Australia actually!) there are a host of other test sides, full of normal flesh and blood humans, that we can hold our own against - and, glory be, actually beat.

This summer should be a cracker - A resurgent West Indies side and the ever threatening and always entertaining Indians. Possibly the last chance to see Lara and Tendulkar - a new crop of young quick bowlers, Dravid, Sehwag, Gayle ("Sarwan, Hinds & Chanderpaul")- another chance to see the ageless Kumble - can't wait!

We always have a good time at Trent Bridge, make a weekend of it by booking into one of the many cheap hotels in Nottingham and take advantage of the 'lively' nightlife, and the fact that you can enjoy a decent night out without fearing the state of your bank balance by the end of it.

The ground itself has a wonderful charm. It's small by Test Match standards - even after recent developments, but even after all the changes it's still got a lovely old-fashioned atmosphere as there are stands from different eras pieced together with different styles. It's old fashioned in a positive way - the tickets stilll look like they've been run off on a John Bull printing kit, the staff are friendly (the gatekeepers actually welcome you to the ground!!) whilst those working in the bars know what they're doing. The traditional lunchtime wander round always unearths a hidden treasure like a souvenir shop that seems untouched since the days of Larwood and Voce, and tiny counters serving food that is actually edible and tasty - a rare combination in an English sports arena.

The 2005 Test was the best cricket watching experience of my life, but then I've never had a bad one in the place where Gary Pratt went from obscurity to legend in an instant.


Anonymous said...

ah. lucky you. havent seen a live ages, damn.

Mark said...

Shakester - I was going to suggest you check out the Trent Bridge site - tickets still availabe, but then I saw your location...!!!