Big thanks to my witty husband for the ‘punny’ post title!
Last year we tried to make it to a cricket match, but the weather had other plans for us. This year though, we were much luckier. First and foremost, England is having a summer (!!!) that has made for perfect cricket weather. (I really should spend every day writing about this weather after all of the moaning I did last year about the lack of summer.) Second, England was host to The Ashes 2013, which is a big deal cricket series between England and Australia. Our brother-in-law scored some tickets from a friend and asked us if he wanted to join him and Richard’s sister for Day 2 of the third test match series which took place at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester over this past weekend.
**At this point I must point out that I am still learning cricket and all of its intricacies, but I feel like I have a decent grasp of how the sport works from the endless watching of it that Richard has done since we got the Sky Sports package on tv in the new house. With that disclaimer, please grant me some leniency as I write about the match and the game. Richard has already said he might write an addendum to this post if I go into a lot of detail. I welcome his addition, but think I will stick to a simple post that doesn’t involve too much discussion about the rules!**
For those who do not know, a typical cricket test match last for five days, beginning on a Thursday and finishing on a Monday. There are two innings in each match allowing each team to bat and to bowl twice. (When I learned this fact, I started to compare cricket to baseball, but they really are not that similar so my comparison should not be acknowledged.) The Ashes are comprised of test matches, but there are also a few other types of matches that are shorter in duration and might be a good place to start if you are new to the sport.
We ended up with great seats that were just under cover, so we didn’t roast throughout the day like most of the other 20,000 fans did as proven by their extremely red faces. We were on the side of the pitch where the team ‘dugouts’ (I have no idea what they are called, but they are like actual boxes.) are and had a great view of the field of play. The match began at 11 AM and play ended around 6:30 PM. They take two breaks during that period as well – one for lunch and one for ‘tea’. (Ah, England.)
I will be honest and say that it can make for a long day. Because Australia was batting the majority of the day we were there, I didn’t consider runs to be a big deal as we did not want them to score more, so in my eyes, it took nearly 1 1/2 hours for the first major thing to happen, which was someone being caught out. As Richard likes to point out, that is an extremely long time to wait for those of us used to sports in the U.S. that are filled with big plays from start to finish! (I actually agree with him.) But, you make your own fun when the innings get long by laughing at drunk people and their antics. I also had a lot of questions about things that were happening, so that helped to fill some of the down time. I’m actually looking forward to going to another match next summer when I’m not pregnant because I spotted some people with pitchers of Pimm’s in the stands – now you’re talking!
So, what’s the verdict? Was I ‘bowled over’ or ‘board to death’? Overall, I would have to consider myself ‘bowled over’, which actually surprised me! It was fun to be part of a tradition that has gone on for years and to soak up the beautiful English summer. I couldn’t believe it on Monday when I was home alone and found myself putting the match on the telly to see how it finished. It ended in a draw (or a tie as we like to say in the States), which means that England will retain The Ashes urn for the time being!
Have you been to a cricket match? Do you enjoy watching the sport?