Monday, 11 June 2012

Edgbaston Test Match

Thanks to my knowledge of Rock music I managed to win 2 x tickets courtesy of Planet Rock to the Third Test match between England and the West Indies at Edgbaston Birmingham. In fact not just tickets but VIP hospitality in the Jaguar suite which included bacon rolls on arrival, Champagne and canapes, 4 course lunch and tea. Not forgetting of course the all important all day free bar and various dignitaries popping in throughout the day. Certainly beats home made cheese rolls and a thermos flask out in the cold ! Unfortunately due to the terrible weather the first two days were a total washout. So we were really lucky to see a full days play. From up on our balcony we had a perfect view looking down on the pitch. Got stuck into the Guinness early doors to help wash dowm my bacon roll which was very tasty. In fact the Guinness was used a while later to make a 'Black Velvet' with the Champagne flowing.

West Indies batsman Assad Fudadin takes evasive action.

Graeme 'Swanny' Swan bowling.
Had a good mixture of people on the 'Planet Rock' table. It was difficult at times to actually get outside to watch any cricket with all the free beers and spirits and food. I did pop out for an hour before lunch as I was already feeling the effects of several pints and double whisky chasers...... During lunch we had a few special guests. First up were ex England bowler Gladstone Small and West Indies legend Sir Viv Richards. We also had a visit from the ex footballer and first million pound transfer man Trevor Francis. Edgbaston is also the home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club and is the second largest ground in the UK with a seating capacity of 25,000. Of all England's Test Grounds Edgbaston is the least disrupted by rain - losing an average of fewer than 90 minutes of play per match between 1979 and 1988, compared to over 8 hours per match for the most affected ground Old Traford - well it is Manchester. Our tea-time guests were Ex West Indies and Kent cricketer John Shepherd with former Warwickshire Captain and dual Rugby and Cricket international MJK Smith. Also in attendance was the ex- breakfast TV presenter and Luton Town F.C Chairman Nick Owen. The drinking continued at pace and had my first ever 'Bloody Mary'which really is an acquired taste. Have to say I found it a bit 'peppery' but it did settle my stomach which was a bit up and down to say the least...... Who should pop up after the tea interval but 'Sir Geoffrey Boycott' who is never shy of an opinion. I got him to sign my mini bat. I said theres a space there next to Muralitharin, quick as a flash he replied ' he chucked it thar knows' 'but he did it well'. Had a very nice chat with 'Sir Geoffrey' about life at Yorkshire, Dickie Bird and Michael Parkinson and his wifes Birthday present. Close of play scoreboard and annoyingly enough the sunniest part of the day! It may have finished on the pitch but the bar was still open for another hour! It was good to meet up withe Warwickshire Chief Executive 'Colin Povey' who was my old team mate at East Haddon. He hasn't done too bad for himself. It was an absolutely fantastic day that will live long in my memory with great company and excellent hospitality. There was just time to finish with a drunken sing song !

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