A match report from the 2017 Women’s World Cup Final

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Lord’s media centre (CC licensed by hobbs_luton via Flickr)

Gareth writes:

The last time I’d been to Lord’s I’d found the place a bit stifling, and an incredibly drunken young man had capped Glamorgan getting spanked by Gloucestershire by “singing” on the bus the whole way back. That had not been a fun day.

This time, I was off to watch a World Cup final. I won’t bore you with the details. It’s not allowed, is it? Plus, you probably all know what happened, what with you being cricket fans and all.

So I was already up in London that Sunday morning, having been to the West Ham stadium (or whatever it’s called) to see the athletics the night before. I met my old friend “Steve” (real name Steff – I’m not very good with pseudonyms) on the westbound platform of the Jubilee line at Canning Town and we were off to Lord’s.

When we got to the ground, we saw police with machine guns. “Oooh” I though. Although this is a more common sight these days, the sight of a machine gun up close still makes me think “Oooh”. We made it through security with the minimum of fuss.

Once inside, first off, we did a lap of Lord’s, which was looking very nice indeed. We took in the museum (I liked Viv Richards’s maroon cap the best) and resisted the temptation to make annoying, Philistine comments about the Ashes urn (“is that it?!”) to the obviously very proud guide person in charge of that section.

Also, Kumar Sangakkara has a very small bat. He saws the bottoms off apparently. Is that a scoop? As in journalistic, not the old Grey Nicholls bat design. Sorry, veering dangerously close to ankylosing spondylitis pun territory here.

We had seats up on the top tier in the Compton stand (I think). Before the match started, a woman in a white leotard floated around underneath a hot air balloon doing gymnastic stuff. It was arty. Then she gave the World Cup trophy to someone else, and some songs played. Then they started playing cricket.

Anyway, the seats were a bit cramped and the guy to my right was, unfortunately, a bit miserable. He did not engage much with my attempts at conversation. In fact, he just got his paper out and pointedly turned away from me. I tried not to take it personally.

The weather was a bit changeable. I decided to keep my raincoat on. This made me warm. Steff and I are both in charge of small children too. The warmish weather/sleep deprivation/excessive excitement combination made us tired. In no time, we found ourselves dozing off intermittently instead of paying attention.

As the crowd filled up, we decided it was high time to get out of our seats and cause disruption to them by squeezing past so we could beat the mid-innings lunch queues.

I had a veggie-burger, Steff had a beef burger. They were nice too. Good use of pickle. You don’t always get pickle in a veggie-burger. I guess that’s the kind of thing that slightly sets Lord’s apart.

We didn’t have champagne though – I ‘ve never seen champagne sold on tap before. I guess that’s the kind of thing that slightly sets Lord’s apart.

We got Pedigree instead.

We did a few more laps of the ground in between sitting down until we got stiff. Nothing like a day in a sports stadium’s seating to remind you of the ever-accelerating onrush of middle/old age. At one point, we found a mobile phone and handed it in to lost property like good boys. We rewarded ourselves with another drink.

Upon returning to our seats for the final time, everyone in the ground got increasingly noisy and excited for about an hour. I got swept up in it, I must admit. I also did a vague wave in the direction of where Ged said he was sitting (I’d kept forgetting up to that point, but I guarantee that it did happen.) Hello Ged, hope you enjoyed the match.

Then the stuff I’m not meant to mention finished happening and it was time to rush off. I got to Victoria, caught the Megabus and ate some McCoy’s crisps as I headed west.

It had been a fun day.

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.


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  1. So kind of you to wave in our direction, Gareth,

    We’d have waved in your direction too, had we known which direction to wave in. Seems you’re not entirely sure even after the event.

    Super match report. You very nearly mentioned the cricket at one point…there are some around here that would complain that the phrase “then they started playing cricket” is a mention of the cricket itself. But I am not such a pedant – no siree.

    If people want a comparison that does mention the cricket, I did Ogblog this event back then: http://ianlouisharris.com/2017/07/23/when-everything-went-the-right-way-womens-world-cup-final-lords-23-july-2017/

    It was a really special day for us – sounds as though it was for you too, Gareth. I’m glad.

  2. Great match report, Gareth. I’m surprised you managed a jaunt at lunchtime when in my experience the whole place is rammed to the rafters by drifting punters. The rozzers with guns are there to make sure there’s no imposters wearing eggs and bacon ties.

  3. Ged – hah, yes I was sailing close to the wind there I guess. Oops. I shall have to be more vigilant in future offerings. Also, I was in the Compton stand, upper tier (I had to look this up though). It was a special day indeed. I’m sure everyone who was there feels like that.

    Edwardian – It was a bit of a different crowd I guess. They mostly seemed keen on staying in their seats, eating picnics and watching the game instead of getting leathered. How can attracting this kind of new demographic to cricket be seen as anything other than a bad thing if they’re not prepared to do the decent ting and drink their own bodyweight’s worth of the main sponsors’ offerings?! Not that cricket has a weird relationship with booze of course. Good to know the heavy artillery is there for a good cause too.

    Bail-out – yes, that’s a hell of a match.

    Thanks for printing my thing KC *bows obsequiously*

  4. I didn’t realise that Namibia were topping their table in the South African domestic three-day league. Impressive… But means that during the World Cricket League they are having to play first-class and one-day cricket simultaneously, with two representative teams thousands of miles from each other! Harsh.

    When was the last time that England had to play two matches on the same day? Doesn’t seem to be a winmning strategy for the Namibians.


    1. I have a dim recollection that a few years back the Aussies fielded completely separate white and red-ball teams because there was a white-ball match being played in a completely different place a day or two before a Test. But I might be making that up…

    2. I also feel totally confident that England sometimes used to send out two different Test teams so they could play their Winter tours in two different continents, but can’t remember the last time it happened (before air travel took off I suspect) or on how many occasions two England teams were taking to the playing field simultaneously (or at least, time zones allowing, on the same day).

    3. An ex SAS chap told me to always carry three spare tyres if I was planning a trip to Namibia, but on the plus side the county is awash with Guiness and strong German lager. Sounds exhausting.

      1. There must be some sort of prize for “best capital name” and Windhoek would have to be a contender, right up there with Antananarivo.

  5. I see your advertising algorithms have caught on to this more female-friendly content, yer maj. I’ve stopped getting Russian mail order brides adverts and started getting suggestions I should buy a ticket to watch Harlequins Ladies Rugby instead.

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