Friday, July 20, 2007

New Boots and Panties

Some random thoughts following a day at Lords

The Indian bowling in the first hour minutes was woeful, By all means blame it on the famous 'slope' but shouldn't really take that long to adapt. By the time they finally got their line sorted out, England were well past 50 and the potential weak link (Strauss) was on his way to a hard earned 96, which could very well be the turning point for the Middlesex opener.

Scrape away the teeth-grindingly annoying veneer of the 'establishment at play', and Lords is a fantastic place to watch cricket. Architectually it has kept pace with time without losing the wonderful atmosphere. Extraordinarily, the 'spaceship' actually 'works' in terms of design and location - though when the plans were first drawn up I'm sure a few traditionalists must have had a fit!

Whilst crowds at other English test match keep post-lunch boredom at bay by resorting to Mexican waves and vocal support, the Lords crowd simply put their head down for forty winks. Seriously, the middle session wasn't the most exciting passage of play - although you quickly started to appreciate again how much India have owed to Anil Kumble over the years, but it was played out to a background sound of gentle snoring. From my seat at the Nursery end I saw at least 20 people having a quick post-prandial snooze.

Celebratory spotting - Richie Benaud (much much smaller than I was expecting) 'Boycie' from Only Fools & Horses looking very dapper in blazer and chinos... Goochie and his performing hair-weave... a wonder of modern technology. Dean Headley - the great 'what might have been' of English cricket, and Michael Parkinson.

There are few more magical sights in sport than the Michael Vaughan cover-drive... although his on-drive runs it close.

The lunch scene behind the pavilion still looks like something from the golden days of the Raj.

I've mentioned this before but what is it about MCC members and dress sense? Do they have their 'sartorial sense' gene surgically extracted when they become members? Admittedly the garish 'blood and pus' tie does no one any favours on the colour-cordination front, but when you mix it with a blue shirt, plum coloured trousers and a striped boating jacket you're really asking for ridicule.

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