Day three of the 2015 Edgbaston Ashes Test – match report

Bert writes:

The final day of the Edgbaston Test wasn’t supposed to be that. In fact, at tea on day two, there was considerable doubt as to whether the final day would actually happen at all. Not that there wouldn’t have been a final day, of course, that doesn’t make sense. What I mean is that the day that ended up being the final day might not have happened. No, hold on, I don’t mean not happened in an astronomical sense, that would be very strange. I meant that the final day of the Test match wouldn’t have been played on the final day, having been played instead on what became known as, with hindsight, the penultimate day, not the final one.

Anyway, thanks mostly to the distinctly untypical efforts of some Australians, the final day did happen. This was good, because I had a ticket. No, not a ticket – a Corporate Hospitality Pass. This is better than a ticket. Tickets go in your pocket, Corporate Hospitality Passes go round your neck. This, together with a casual jacket and open-necked shirt, preferably stripy, mark you out as different from the hoi polloi. Inwardly I raged against the injustice in society that fosters such divisions, but as if reading my thoughts, a lady brought me a bacon sandwich. I relaxed.

At lunch a famous man stood up to introduce two other men, who then talked to us. The first man was missing a neck, which made me wonder where he hung his Corporate Hospitality Pass. The second and third men were also famous, probably more so than the first man, and representative of the two teams playing. They discussed the state of play, each adopting opposing and deliberately provocative stances from which they obdurately refused to shift. We learned nothing.


In the afternoon I chatted to the man next to me. I didn’t know him, but apparently this sort of networking is what these corporate things are all about. Nice rhythm Hazelwood has got, I said. Yes, agreed the man. He looks like he could do well in English conditions, I offered. Quite, said the man. Perhaps he will come into it a bit more at Trent Bridge, I said, if the conditions favour a bit of lateral movement. Very possibly, said the man. By the way, he added, is this the first Test or have they already played some? I stopped talking to him.

I looked around the stand at my fellow pass-holders. I noticed that they were all just that – fellows. To a man, as it were. It would seem that to get a Corporate Hospitality Pass for the cricket, what you don’t need is to be even vaguely interested in cricket. What you do need, however, is a cock and balls. I looked at my pass to see if there was a genitals code alongside the dress code. I checked my genitals to make sure I conformed. Always a nervy moment, but I was fine. It’s not that there weren’t any women there, just that all the women present were wearing identical pink dresses and handing out bacon sandwiches. They didn’t seem as if they’d been selected for their cricket knowledge, but that might be unfair. I decided to protest at this state of affairs by increasing my rate of intake of champagne. That’ll show ’em.

Ged was also at Edgbaston that day, but I couldn’t get across to see him. I did try, but the man I asked wasn’t sure why I would possibly want to leave the ignorant, misogynistic, smug, self-satisfied atmosphere of Corporate Hospitality to venture into the still-not-very-cheap seats. In any case, while my Corporate Hospitality Pass got me free drinks and food, it couldn’t get me into the rest of the ground. I took this photo instead. Think of it as Where’s Wally, but with Ged.


By the time I got back to New Street Station, it had become more blurred than it was in the morning. I’ve noticed this about stations, which I tend only to use for days at the cricket. I suspect that the constant movement of trains in and out smears reality around a bit. There’s a burrito shop at New Street. I can recommend it highly, ideal for the busy man in a casual jacket with a pass round his neck who is properly drunk at five-thirty. Worth being aware, though, that in this place hot means hot.

There is a prize for the winner of the Spot-The-Ged Competition. Ged is banned from entry, of course. The prize is a week’s holiday in Skegness at your own expense. There is also a bonus prize of a fish supper (in Skegness) for identifying the famous people in the first photo, all FOUR of them. The bottom photo might also contain some famous people, it’s hard to tell, but if you spot any do be sure to let us know.

Send your match reports to If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.

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16 Appeals

  1. For the first photo (for the appeal of Skegness as a gap year destination is very appealing) – can I suggest its GD Mc Grath taking questions, a GP Swann behind him, a CL Lloyd lumbering towards the back fishing out prizes and Graeme Smith in the right hand corner, who is patting Tony Slattery in the corner?

    Ged is possibly middle right if you’re referring to a person – if Ged is a state of mind I call corner left pocket on the photo….

  2. My mum got Gladstone Small’s autograph in a lift once.

    Nothing more to add at this stage.

  3. Are you sure you went to the right place? That doesn’t look like a corporate box at all, it’s much too big, how would you get to see out of the window?

    From experience Logistical gatherings usually have a lot of cheese and cold cuts, rarely bacon sandwiches.

    Ged cheated cos he said he would be in the front row but he is 7 rows back with a smoked salmon and cream cheeese bagel and a cheeky Austrian reisling

  4. cheese* and a purple shirt

  5. Wow, what a super picture of me. Thanks Bert. How on earth did you catch me at just that moment? An amazing shot.

    You are quite mistaken, Thesaurusrus, I am there in the front row, but you obviously wouldn’t be able to see my shirt while I was acro dancing in that position.

    As for the dull corporate photo, I think I can make out Graeme Swann, Mark Nicholas and Devon Malcolm.

    I cannot make out a fourth celebrity by sight, but the answer must be Dennis Amiss. I think there is a clause in the constitution of Warwickshire CCC that such events at Edgbaston must include Dennis Amiss.

    I’ll have the skate wing please, Bert. I am partial to a mouthwatering piece of skate in Skeggy.

  6. ‘By the way, he added, is this the first Test or have they already played some?’ – Marvellous.

  7. The famous people are clearly:

    Lenny Henry, Bob Carolgees, Benny from Crossroads and Adrian Chiles.

    I’ll take the rock salmon, please.

  8. I believe that I might be in the bottom photo as I was there and sitting in a crowd remarkably like that one. I was wearing a checked Burberry sports jacket,( a vintage bargain from which has a special ticket pocket, unfortunately too small for my match day ticket and so no substitute for Bert’s lanyard. I was wearing my back up cricket watching hat, has my cricket watching hat is missing and one of those ear radios so I could listen to Sir Geoffrey whine. However as I am not remotely famous, ( despite Steve Smith seemingly having recently adopted my nom de plume, I am not he) spotting me will not get you to Skegness.

  9. It’s been a poor effort so far at the famous people guessing game. Between Montgomery, Sam and Ged, they’ve got three, although much like with spiritualists, they seem to have achieved this by mentioning every name possible.

    But nobody has got the other Warwickshire star, who is considerably closer to the camera than the three celebrity guests.

  10. Is that the boy Troughton, so close to the camera you can only see above the ear and half chin, i.e. you cannot see a lanyard and thus that person might not be a lanyardista?

    While writing, I’d like to point out that i fall into the category of lanyard resistors, who will take great lengths to avoid wearing a lanyard in corporate settings.

    Apparently, lanyard resistance is something that is often tacitly observed and used as part of the rationale for rejecting job applicants. This knowledge has served only as encouragement to me to continue my resistance.

  11. So, to be clear, I’m now going for Swann, McGrath, Small, Troughton.

    I realise that I’m no longer eligible for the skate wing, but perhaps my contribution is worth a small portion of whitebait?

    I do like a tasty little portion of fresh whitebait when in Skeg.

  12. I guess Ashley Giles, Ian Bell, Dermot Reeve, Brian Lara, Keith Piper, Asif Din, Andy Moles, Trevor Penney, Roger Twose, Jason Ratcliffe, Dougie Brown, Graeme Welch, Jim Troughton, Alex Loudon and Neil Smith.

  13. Ashley Giles’s back!

    As in his back, not his front. It’s not like he’s been away or anything.

    • Ashley Giles IS lanyard man. I’m gutted.

      BTW, Bert, before I take the plunge and venture off in the direction of Skegness, could you please let me know the altitude of that town. In feet and meters please.

      I wouldn’t want to affect adversely my reputation for high altitude cricket-related activity.

    • Watch as he attends meetings that you are not invited to. Marvel as he selects a blue shirt from a rack of apparently identical blue shirts. Stand in awe as he earns more than any rational person could believe he is worth.

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