Lord’s is BYO

Today was my first ever visit to the home of cricket, Lords. It was a truly memorable experience and not just because Australia took 10 wickets and humiliated the old enemy. The Lords experience was cricket but not as I know it.

For starters, did you know that Lord’s is BYO? You’re allowed to bring in a bottle of wine for the day! Two locals behind me were indulging in a fruity Lindeman’s Pinot Noir while I sipped on a 9 pound cup of Pimms I bought at the ground. The two of them were definitely more wine connoisseur than cricket connoisseur because they spent most of the first session discussing the fruity tannins of their claret.

For the rest of the Lord’s locals though, Champagne seemed to be the drink of choice. From 11:00am until stumps, the sound popping champagne corks could be heard all around the ground. It was quite incredible. Some even had to be fetched by security guards from the field of play. Perhaps it numbed the pain for the Poms as their team slumped to 5/64 at tea. It’s hard to be depressed when you’re drinking Champagne. I overheard one diehard cheerfully explain to his friend ‘I thought we’d be losing tomorrow afternoon, not today’… I guess this is about as confident as you can afford to be when you support the English cricket team.

The Lord’s crowd were also very well dressed. I saw more blazers today than I have since I finished High School. And people in brimmed hats. I’d sooner wear a watermelon hats than Panama hat…

And as always, there were a large number of English fans at Lord's who preferred to watch the match on a large screen TV outside rather than sit in their seats.

And as always, there were a large number of English fans at Lord’s who preferred to watch the match on a large screen TV outside rather than sit in their seats.

Yes, the English do cricket differently to us. One thing you have to say for them though is that they are fantastic sports. Today they were so magnanimous in the face of humilating defeat. As I cheered the triumphant Aussie team off the field in my Wallabies jersey an old English bloke sidled up next to me and whispered in my ear ‘I’ve just turned up. Are England winning?’ I don’t know how you can be so good humoured in defeat. Perhaps it takes practice…

Have you watched cricket at Lord’s? What did you make of it? Leave a comment below…

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