Non – Egg Cricket Returns Once Again……
The cagouled gentleman 3 empty spaces along tucks into the first of several noxious egg sandwiches as the first half-hearted lbw appeal of the day rings out….Welcome back Cricket Season!
Lancashire Cricket Club are currently rotating their Old Trafford pitch through 90 degrees, [maybe something to do with the impending Mayan apocalypse or maybe more like a practical ‘late evening sun-in-batsman’s eyes’ switch whilst their stands are being snazzied up], and are playing their ‘home’ matches in Liverpool.
Taking advantage of this fact, I high-tailed it over to the Aigburth [pronounced ‘Eggburth’ non-Scousers], famous former home of a dead Beatle [and Sonia….anybody? No?] , plus, home of Liverpool Cricket Club for the 1st Roses clash of the season [Thats Lancs v Yorks for the southerners].
It’s my first cricket match at Aigburth but the reassuring number of strange men in sensible rainwear alighting the train meant I must be headed in the right direction. [Well…they might have been going to a Steam Engine Ralley, a Creosote Collectors Convention or possibly just a gentle days paedophilia; who could be sure.]
With modern football in financial freefall [£1,355,000,000 on Premiership players wages last season?!] I was hoping i was going to get a bit of value for my £15. The game now has squad no.s/names on back for the players, electronic scoreboards, fist-bumping celebrations but it’s great to see this ‘long’ 4-day version of the game surviving along with the popular razzmatazz-y slogfest 20/20 game.
The atmosphere is a bit like going to watch non-league football – you can sit where you want [apart from the sought after positions at square-leg & behind the bowlers arm], walk around the ground [I even walked the pitch at ‘lunch’ – that’s like ‘end of the 1st 1/3rd’ for any americans out there], there’s no queue for the clean toilets, the burgers are awful and you can mix with the players as they finish their warm-up. Really quite refreshing.
The days play itself was short on knee-quaking incident [….but that’s half the point isn’t it – a bit like fishing?] but i was kept entertained by the lively, mostly non-cricket chat by some boisterous Yorkie types [Sample topic: Haemorrhoid removal; Cream or The Cut?]
…and predictably; rain did stop play………….