I love cricket, played it very badly and still enjoy a bit of umpiring and scoring. I am a very hands-off cricket fan. That all changed last night when I sat on the Oval terraces and watched Surrey and Middlesex play out a 20/20 thriller.
It had it all, mighty sixes into the top tiers of the stands, Pieterson playing the oaf, runners, streakers, even a fight in the stands.
Surrey won, Middlesex won the other week, the cricket brought us together but it was the crowd that made the cricket happen. The England Captain, Owen Morgan stood in front of where we sat, playing to the few away fans in our section. It is clear that the players are energised by the crowd as much as the other way round.
And the Oval was heaving. The beer and cider was flowing, the girls brought the picnics, the boys bought the drinks! The average age of those around us was probably 30. This was the Vauxhall pleasure gardens of the Victorian age revived!
Cricket could never have revived itself in this country. It took the IPL in India followed by the Big Bash in Australia to show us cricket could be fun. Played out on a Friday night, this was fun!
Thanks to Surrey County Cricket Club for putting on such a great event, thanks to both teams (including pantomime zero Kevin) and thanks to the youth of London who made this great.
If you don’t think you can change things in pensions- take a look at cricket!