Monday, August 15, 2005

Going to the Ashes

So having watched the cricket yesterday and hear them announce that tickets will be £10 today I decided that as I had no work planned there couldn't be many better ways of spending the day. Got up around 5am and set off just before 6am arriving in time to join the queue about 7am. The journey was beautiful, with the rising sun behind me lighting up a spectacular purple view of heather topped hills, with clouds hanging over the top and drifting through valleys - stunning. Thanks to the internet and a fan site directing useful places to park for the old trafford football ground I was able to park in a side road 5 min walk away for free! The queue was already quite large when I arrived and throngs of people were joining. The event security decided to open the gates early and have us queue within a car park, and then started letting us in as I guess the queues were causing problems outside the ground. Once inside I had the choice of places to sit, and opted for an area just behind the stumps. It was in a no smoking and no alcohol area, but as I was driving I didn't mind, and less chance to be sitting next to some annoying person. Read a bit and started some sudoku whilst waiting, but there was plenty to observe before the match started. The teams warming up, the tv pundits out doing a spot about the wicket. Saw Ian Botham, Michael Atherton and Geoffrey Boycott who you can see below. The match was completely engrossing, every over was interesting. I found it quite difficult to follow where the ball was going once hit though, they really moved quickly and it was easy to loose the ball amongst the crowd. The tension gradually built up during the day as the wickets slowly fell away. It was just when Warne and Ponting were in with the new ball, it didn't look like we were getting any joy at all. But then there was a change and a few wickets fell, leaving the nervey last few overs where every ball that carried to the wicket keeper was cheered as if it had taken an inside edge!

Shame that we couldn't win the match, but a great experience none the less for my first test match. And all for just £10, great value.

The pitch being prepared

Ian Botham

Michael Atherton

Geoffrey Boycott, from a distance

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