Pakistan v Australia Lord’s match report

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Will writes:

Despite being a Thursday, it was actually the fourth day of what is now, with hindsight, the totally ironically named MCC Spirit of Cricket Test Series. I had bought the tickets a year before with the intention of taking clients and having a drunken day out on the company corporate card. In the event, I left the invitations too late. I decided to take my wife and my four month old daughter.

My wife’s only other trip to Lords had been to watch England v Bangladesh several year ago before we were married so I think she was quite pleased at the step up in ticket price and perceived match quality.

However, I had an extra ticket to get rid of and due to the wife and baby couldn’t get any mates to come with me. Therefore we arrived early so that I could stand by the North Gate ticket booths and sell it.

There were a number of interested people, including the bus driver of the Marine Band, which later gave a lunch time performance and also vertically challenged comedy person Andy Hamilton. He almost bought the ticket but in the end said he wanted to buy a Rover ticket. I have wondered since how a day next to Andy Hamilton would have panned out; maybe some early banter about the baby and fatherhood, perhaps then getting a few drinks for each other, maybe ending the day with him offering complimentary tickets to a recording of Radio 4’s The News Quiz?

After about 15 minutes, a man called Tony bought it and paid face value without trying to haggle. He had made lots of money from the City and was up for the day from his house in Hampshire.

During the course of the day, I resisted the temptation to get hideously drunk, conscious of my responsibilities and instead took my wife and baby for a walk around the ground. I bought us both pie, gravy and chips for lunch but nothing from any of the gift shops. I had previously bought myself a T-shirt, my dad an Ashes coffee mug and my mum one of those ‘when the last man’s out the first man’s in’ tea towels and couldn’t see what else anyone would want. There are children’s clothes but nothing really for babies so mine will have to wait.

Back at our seats in the Grandstand, we were in full sun, so much of the extra clothing that my wife had insisted on bringing for the baby was superfluous. But I have since learnt that whatever I say or do, from now on I’ll end up carrying a kit bag’s worth of stuff for any given outing with the child.

Luckily, our row was on a concourse, which meant that we had a lot of leg room and could accommodate the extra baggage with ease. It also meant that an exuberant Australian woman somewhere between 30 and 45 years old would stop every time she walked past to get to the bar, and consequently the loo, to make a comment about the baby to my wife.

The last comment – ‘mate, I could eat her up’ – was delivered with a roar around 5pm.


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  1. Exemplary reporting Will.

    However, I will bring query to your point regarding the lack of child-specific gifts in the Lord’s gift shop.

    There are the “Little Legends” bibs, to ease the containment of your child’s milky vomit.

    There is the “Little Legends” bodysuit. Available in two (TWO! You had no excuse!) sizes.

    And of course who could forget the “Little Legends” sleep suit and hat?

    So comprehensive is the selection of products you have ignored, I am starting to think you care more about Tony from Hampshire than you do about your first born child. For shame.

  2. And Tim you seem to care more for your employers (shopatLords) than the integrity of KC.

    You remind me of Hayley from the Barmy Army. I miss Hayley. Whatever happened to Hayley…?

    Will – very good report. I could eat it up.

    1. You have to let it go, D. She’s gone. In fact, she was never there in the first place. You just have to move on. “She” was a six-foot-two ex-paratrooper from Grimsby who’d taken the Barmy Army job while he was looking for work as a scaffolder. He just pretended to be a thirty-something attractive and single female called Hayley who is also interested in cricket in order to get us to buy stuff. I know it’s hard to accept, but believe me, I’ve been fooled before, and it wasn’t pleasant.

      Nice report, Will. I read “row” (rhymes with toe)as “row” (rhymes with cow) in your penultimate paragraph, with no immediate loss of sense.

    2. Surely “Hayley”‘s absence is a good thing for all of us, Bert. An increase in scaffolding work must signify a change in fortunes for the building industry, and therefore a boost in the wider national economy?

      Will, lovely report. I could eat it up.

    3. We read it as row/argument the first time too.

      There must be an air of impending domestic crisis in your writing, Will.

  3. “Back at our seats in the Grandstand, we were in full sun . . . ”

    Slip, Slop, Slap – from the mum of an Australian-British-American four-year old 🙂 . I’m trying to get him interested in cricket.

  4. It is one of my dreams to watch an England-India test match at Lords. Unfortunately, I never seem to know when the tickets go on sale at the ground, and when I get around to buying them, they are already sold out.

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