A near-streak match report from Lord’s from when England played India

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Edwardian writes:

I had stayed in London the night before, so got to Lord’s early. I was frisked by a security chap who was pouring with sweat.

“Blimey, mate,” I said. “You’ve been on it.”

He replied: “It’s the menopause” – a line I suspect he was using liberally.

After a saunter and a coffee I got to my seat in the front row of the Edrich Lower Tier. I was pleased to find that I was sitting one seat away from the same man that I had sat next to at the Pakistan Test. We shook hands, pleased at the coincidence.

Just before start of play a slightly flushed and haughty woman told me I was sitting in her seat.  She was right and I told her not to panic. I moved down the line and settled down again.

I blamed my simple seating mistake on feeling a bit spaced out after drinking liberal amounts of wine in a Spanish restaurant in Farringdon on Friday night and then more wine back at the hotel where I met a young buck who was getting married in St. Paul’s Cathedral the next day. He said he was getting married there because, “my old man broke the land speed record.”

I wondered what the criteria was for getting married in St. Paul’s and suspected that my 1993 cycle ride from Worcester to the Forest of Dean on a 1925 Triumph road racer with inverted lever brakes in heavy traffic probably wouldn’t cut the mustard.

I found out that the woman seated to my left lived in the same area of Norfolk where I spent my childhood.

At the start of play I put TMS (Test Match Special) in my ear and was pleased that I had got a Saturday ticket under clear skies.

My companion to my right was quiet until I decided to take my shorts off. I’m not bashful about these things.

“Are you going to do a streak?” he exclaimed.

I dispelled the possibility after a few seconds of thought. (I was well placed to do a dash from the front row and the steward was nodding off behind his sunglasses). It was cold.  I wriggled into the jeans and shoes I was wearing the night before. It wasn’t a day for flip-flops.

My lunch was two rounds of Co-op ham and mustard sandwiches washed down with one of my half-bottles of claret which I keep aside for cricket matches.

Someone behind me said, “He’s drinking red wine, this rosé is gay.”  A positive appraisal, no doubt, in times gone by.

At one point in the afternoon, a lazy stream of spilled cider made its way down from our right, soaking the bottom of our bags. Squeezing the bottom of my bag and smelling it I said to the man on my right: “That’s cider, mate, definitely cider.”

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. Top standard reportage, Edwardian. Had it been less of a tour-de-force, I might have been inclined to correct your use of “criteria was”. But it wasn’t, so I won’t.

    I am intrigued by the stripping bit, though. I’ve been to a lot of cricket matches, and I have never seen anyone take their shorts off. Ever. I must admit, I think my first reaction would be, “Why did he not put his jeans on over his shorts?” I assume that the answer to this is simply that you are an exhibitionist of the most egregious kind.

    1. Perhaps, while chilly, it wasn’t quite a two-trousers kind of day? It’s hardly The North, is it?

  2. Outstanding report, Edwardian. Well done you for going on the one day that I didn’t go…

    …which was also the best weather day of that test.


    Which Spanish restaurant in Farringdon? Reasonable chance we can compare notes on the place as I have been to at least three around there.

    Near-streaking and bag-sniffing…I didn’t imagine that you had quite so much side as that, although perhaps the tell-tale signs were always there for the canny to see.

  3. Super stuff Edwardian.

    In other news, the tie, the rarest of species was spotted in Taunton today. Somerset’s second innings on the radio was absolutely gripping stuff. Maharaj was superb. Lancashire need a clear out this summer though. Their batting has been utterly appalling this season.

    1. A crazy conclusion – Somerset have been hoist by their own petard there, preparing a pitch so terrible we couldn’t make 78 to win on it. A second additional column may soon need to be added to the Div 1 table on BBC Sport.

      1. More “below average verging on poor” pitches?

        More “indifferent batting”?

        More “bag smelling in order to identify cider”?

        I’m sorry Bert, you’ll have to be more explicit. I am completely at a loss to understand what on earth you are talking about.

        While waiting for your reply, Bert, I’ll watch a silly little vid I found on YouTube:


    2. Could that result scupper both Lancashire’s survival hopes (assuming they lose away to Yorkshire) and Somerset’s title aspirations? If so, it seems a bit unfair, there should be 100 bonus points for a tie, which would encourage…. etc.

  4. I found this quiz surprisingly difficult, although I guess it doesn’t help if you forget to include a member of the current team in your guessing…

    …powers are definitely on the wane. Clearly I need to increase my collection of long pieces of cloth, worn for decorative purposes around the neck, resting under the shirt collar and knotted at the throat.

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