Sunday, May 27, 2007

Edgbaston Lord's it Over the Rest

Just over a week ago I was at a sporting event in our "glorious capital". No, it wasn't the 3rd/4th place play-off for the Champions League, which was held at a new stadium they've apparently built in the area. I went to the traditional home of cricket; Lords.

Now being a big cricket fan I was very excited to see a Test Match at Lords on Saturday against the Windies of all teams. Unfortunately, as usual, one of the capital's main attractions failed to live up to the hype. Some bright spark decided that most of the seating at Lord's should be covered. Completely pointless at a cricket stadium given that if it is raining there will not be any play. So despite the fact it was a sunny day, we were left freezing as the wind blew under the concrete tier above us; it was like watching cricket under the Spaghetti Junction.

The play was not up to much either. The West Indies may not be half the team they used to be, but apart from Monty Panesar the bowling was rather tepid. We watched the Windies bat all day with the loss of 6 wickets. To be fair, I was comparing this to my Test match experiences at Edgbaston, the last of which was the Sunday of the 2005 Ashes. Not really a fair contest. However, I did watch the West Indies on the Sunday in 2004 where I saw both sides bat and the loss of 17 wickets.

If any further evidence is needed that Edgbaston is a better Test ground, guess which English ground has the best record for the home team? And 1902 - present has not exactly been a golden age of English cricket.

It was not all bad in the capital however. We walked around Regent's Park which is quite nice for London. Walking around North London, we found a shrine to the people who had been killed by the Edgware Road bomber which was saddening. A couple of things that I noticed since I last went to London (which was nearly 10 years ago) was that you now have to buy tickets before you board the bus there, and the amount and variation of foreigners that one can meet in the city, which obviously gives it a cosmopolitan feel. Not a complete waste of time all-in-all, but I was glad to leave the police-saturated Euston (or New Street without the charm as I call it), to get back to good old Brum.

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