England v Sri Lanka at Lord’s, day one – match report

Posted by
4 minute read

Lord's Cricket Ground pavilion

We weren’t going to do this, but when we started writing something else we sort of felt obliged to ‘fess up that we’d actually been at the ground yesterday and by that point a match report seemed unavoidable.

New rule

We always include a brief italicised outline of what we want from match reports submitted to this site (send them to king@kingcricket.co.uk), but one thing we increasingly feel the need to mention is that you don’t actually have to be Ged Ladd to contribute one. Much as we enjoy the man’s offerings, it would be good to break the Ged hegemony because variety and fenugreek are the spices of life.

Ged doesn’t even have to be there.

Although he was on this occasion.


We know Ged through this website. A couple of years ago, we met Ged for a pint and we now know him in that sense. But we don’t know Ged. For example, until yesterday, we didn’t know that Ged was the kind of person who could tell you in what year you’d met him for a pint and Ged didn’t know that we were the kind of person for whom past, present and future are just one murky impenetrable dream state, meaning we rarely know if things happened yesterday, five years ago or not yet.

So this was not one of those we-always-meet-up-for-the-cricket things. It was a very kind invite from Ged which was completely unexpected. We were particularly struck by it because we would never even dream of inviting someone to something unless we’ve known that person for at least 20 years (a threshold which also increases by the year).

Be prepared

Ged told us he would take care of food and kindly reminded us that Lord’s Cricket Ground’s greatest attribute is that you’re allowed to take some booze in.

Going by the guidelines, a bottle of wine seemed the most sensible thing to bring. However, we have never drunk wine at a cricket match and what little we know of Ged also made us suspect that a bottle of SPANISH RED WINE in upper-case letters probably wouldn’t be to his normal standards, so we instead plumped for the two beers option.

At the same time, we didn’t want to be the northerner who turns up with two cans of Skol, so we opted for two bottles of Belgian beer as this seemed nicely ambiguous.

Real world skills

What we didn’t bring was a bottle opener. Fortunately, Ged’s front row seats provided us with a perfectly adequate concrete step in front of us and we were able to put this to use for the old ‘position bottle top on corner and hammer with side of hand’ opening technique.

We were somewhat taken aback when not just Ged, but also his two companions Charley “The Gent” Malloy (slight suspicion of a made-up name) and Big Al Delarge (slight suspicion of a made-up name) were astounded by this hitherto unseen method. When we employed it a second time later on in the day, people in neighbouring seats also looked on in awe. One guy, wearing a blazer, said: “That’s pretty impressive,” and really seemed to mean it.

We felt a little like we’d just cracked open a can of Skol, but mostly we felt proud to have helped spread a vital life skill which we had always taken for granted.

The Home of Cricket

While there certainly were a few beer drinkers in our stand, it wasn’t 98 per cent of the crowd as it is at the cricket grounds we normally attend. The most popular beverage was instead Champagne and the day was punctuated by popping sounds.

Surveying the patch of grass beyond the boundary, we put it to Ged that a more appropriate nickname for Lord’s would be The Home of Corks. He seemed to find this amusing. Acutely aware that we are nowhere near as witty in real life as people sometimes expect us to be, we made a note and repeated the joke hourly.

The Home of Real Tennis

At the end of the day’s play, Ged offered to show us the ground’s real tennis court. This was everything we hoped it would be – which is to say an almost entirely baffling experience. As far as we can work out, those who commit to real tennis from an early enough age must at some point hit some sort of sweet spot where they have had sufficient time to attain a rough grasp of the rules without yet having been consigned to a wheelchair through old age.

After that, it was time to shake hands and part ways. We politely reminded Ged to try and keep his match reports as short and pithy as possible and then the next day wrote 800 words about meeting him.

Did Ged make Lord’s throdkin?

Did he ever. Top man. Recipe here.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. 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.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Soft southerners such as myself would never open a bottle in that way, because of our perpetual fear of breaking the damn thing.

    Also, I believe that you have at least one non-Ged match report in your backlog.

    1. We do indeed, but we also have considerably more than one Ged Ladd report queued up.

  2. Bought some Skol the other day when we had visitors. Ended up drinking it myself. It was horrible. Before they left, they bought me four more cans. They are still in the fridge.

    1. Well, arguably, you deserve that. If it’s good enough for guests…

      Out of interest, what did you feed them?

      1. I actually did them some lovely home made pizza and a veggie curry. Took the edge off the Skol.

  3. The same thing happened to me when I went to Lords for the first time last year. I went for the teeth method, which is a skill I never realised I had. I also has a wee next to Nigel Lawson, so I had two new experiences that day.

  4. Dewey-eyed he was, at the sight of Lord’s. Don’t let King Cricket reinvent the tale with talk of dust in that breeze or such twaddle.

    As for that beer “a couple of years ago”, I think KC means “7 October 2010”. Interesting point about temporal blur, it is one of the reasons I am going through my old diaries and retro-blogging (as well as real time blogging).

    A question in return: which pub did we meet in. I recall that it is the same one I met my cousin in the night before but I didn’t write the name of the venue down for either evening. Lost in SMS messages gone by. I have a hunch that your recall of the names of Manchester pubs is going to be better than your temporal awareness.

    A comprehensive and very warm-hearted report, KC, I thank you for your kind words. My relatively short Ogblog report of the day is here:


    1. As KC hasn’t answered your question yet maybe I can Ged. I believe you met in Sam’s Chop House. Meeting you was obviously of sufficient import that KC mentioned it to me.

      1. Thank you very much, Your Majesty, for answering the question. Your answer is bang on, Ma’am, as we say in the vernacular.

        Some doubts remain about KC’s locational memory as well as his temporal memory, but no doubts at all about your superb interjection, Ma’am.

        Top mothering.

  5. I wonder if Ged would’ve pretended to not know you in front of his friends if you had shown up wearing a tank-top, cheap sunglasses, and a couple of cans of cheap beer?

  6. I don’t know why but this post brings the movie “Fight Club” immediately to mind. Peculiar…

    1. Indeed, very similar scenario, Dredge.

      Apart from the absence of insomnia, support groups and a fight club in the Lord’s scenario.

      But I do bear a striking resemblance to Brad Pitt, so I have always imagined that he would play me in the inevitable Hollywood biopic.

      1. I see. The likeness must be it. The only other possible conclusion is that, somehow, you are a very convincing figment of King’s imagination. However I cannot imagine that a return to Sam’s Chop House would result in immediate and disconcerting recognition.

  7. Dominic Cork had his best bowling in tests at Lord’s, and a significantly better average, so there might be something in what you say.

    1. We’d feel pretty bad that this joke didn’t come to us, but we long ago realised that we can’t do actual jokes.

      1. Anyway, I’m feeling somewhat put out by yours and Ged’s hobnobbing and gallivanting. What about me? How come I don’t get to meet you illustrious people, despite the fact that I regularly hide in your garden taking photos of you for my shrine. I bet Ged’s shrine is way more impressive than mine. I bet it’s got photos of him and you together in it, not just ones where that photo of you from that other website has been Photo-Shopped onto my wedding pictures. And I bet you talked about me behind my back, like oh, that Bert, he’s so weird, I hope I never meet him, the loser. Well, that’s OK, because I don’t want to meet you. I’ve got lots of friends, like the Pope and Ian Austin, they’re always popping round my house for crisps so I’ll talk to them thank you very much.

      2. And it’s not like I live miles away from you, not like Ged who lives in Lord’s which is hundreds and millions of miles away but still apparently close enough for you to meet unlike where I live which is just way too difficult to get to even though there’s a bus.

      3. Plenty of good hiding places in our garden. There’s behind the weird brick thing that pretty much everyone takes to be an elaborate grave. (It’s not. It’s just a thing.)

        A man could also easily conceal himself within the undergrowth at the foot of the topless mermaid birdbath. (Inevitable question: Did you buy that? Answer: No, but we wish we did so that we could answer yes.)

        There’s also an increasingly deep patch of wildflowers in what was presumably once a pond overlooked by the miniature concrete castle.

        As for your other questions, we can easily answer why you’ve never met us. It’s because neither of us are Ged. We are less certain why you’ve never met Ged. You would have to take that up with him.

      4. I did actually try quite hard to meet you at Edgbaston, Bert, as evidenced by conversation on several threads and your own admission in the following piece of yours:


        To paraphrase, for those who don’t want to read one of Bert’s reports, Bert was too busy hoity-toitying with corporate folk in a hospitality suite to come and join me and my mates in a real part of the ground.

        A report on my day three at Edgbaston, authored by Ivan Meagreheart the Smart Phone, is due to be published at some point in the future by King Cricket.

        Clearly wining and dining His Majesty does not lead to advancement in this Kingdom, at least not as far as the article queue is concerned. Quite right too, yer maj.

  8. Greetings Your Majesty.

    As a longtime lurker and admirer of this site and its community, it struck me that this is the perfect place to get an answer for a newbie query that I have – namely, which stand at Lord’s should a first time visitor (from India, apropos of nothing) buy tickets for? Is there any specific stand that offers a better experience for the sort of person whose cricketing worldview is perfectly reflected by KingCricket? Seriously, I could think of no one I’d rather ask than the people who comment on here regularly ..

    Am planning to take my seven year old to day 1 of Eng v Pakistan – would you fine ladies and gentlemen help a traveler out with some info? Any other tips and info for a day at Lord’s would be most welcome…

    Apologies if this is not the place to ask for such info .. feel free to ignore this comment in that case.

    1. Wherever you sit, Lord’s is a different world, but Ged is undoubtedly the expert in this field…

    2. Thank you for your question, DruckB. There are “in theory” and “in practice” answers to you question.

      In practice, I believe that Day One is a sellout, so you will struggle to get seats together if at all. There might be some returns available – I got a couple of amazing seats for me and Charley the Gent last year at the front of the Mound Stand that way:


      …but it helped that I actually showed up in the ticket office in person at a county match to grab those. You could always try phoning. I have just checked the on-line system and there are no pairs of seats available, not even restricted view. Not sure if returns get put back onto the on-line system – probably not.

      They do sometimes get debenture returns for the upper grandstand – those are amazing seats – some distance from the action but a great panorama of the whole ground. You might ask if there are by chance a pair of those – you’d sound like someone who knows what he is talking about.

      I wouldn’t recommend restricted view seats but anything else is well worth having. Make sure you know whether you are exposed or under cover. If exposed, be prepared with sun screen as it can occasionally be sunny all day and exposed means exposed. Even if it is sunny, especially if under cover, you might find it a bit chilly; even in the English summer players from the subcontinent tend to play in jerseys on all but the very hottest days.

      I do hope you find a way to secure a pair of tickets and are able to attend Lord’s that day. If you do get seats, do let me know. Charley the Gent and I shall be there that day and it would be great to meet you, if only briefly during one of the intervals.

Comments are closed.