So Saturday morning and time to head off to Old Trafford for day three of the 4th Investec test match England v India. Armed with a traditional cricket packed lunch with yes you guessed it sausage rolls it was onto the M62 we go. The weather gods had been kind to us and the sun was trying it’s best to come out and the way play had fallen we should get to se England bat and most probably bowl as well. So our resident sporting event taxi driver Jimmy got us to the venue in plenty of time and not like it used to be having to wait for 11am for the bars to open it was a cold beer for breakfast as soon as we arrived. We headed towards our seats and it was then we discovered we were in the “party” stand. Now to be fair most test cricket grounds become “party” stands after tea as the all day drinking kicks in so what was the “party” stand gonna be like. The first session of the day was mostly uneventful but for a few pints and the cracking open of the packed lunch. I really should lord it up one time with a paper plate and some heinz tomato sauce for my sausage rolls. The sun was winning the battle versus the clouds and the atmosphere was picking up in the party stand with a notable fancy dress gang of various characters from the game Mario. There were even a few Indian fans dotted about as well though mostly quiet as the game was well in England’s favour. So mid afternoon and India into bat it was time for some great cricketing traditions. First up the beer snake. This involved the collection of as many empty plastic pint glasses as possible to form a snake. The quality of plastic has taken a dip over the years and unlike years gone past it is very hard to maintain a beer snake erection so this year the snake had to be held together by many willing volunteers including the cast of the Mario game. I wonder if authorities have taken this tactic to stop the beer snake or is this just one conspiracy theory too far ? Anyways the beer snake ended up being the longest snake I have seen in my many years of going to test matches and though a lot more flaccid than previous snakes it twisted and turned through the party stand and a very impressive length of around 20 metres. Along with the snake itself a whole host of songs accompany it growing from a few plazzy pint glasses to a full on snake with the most obvious being “Feed the snake and it will grow” and it did indeed grow (click on pics for larger version)
So the next cricketing tradition which normally starts mid afternoon during a lull in play is the Mexican wave. Now I am far too cool to do a Mexican wave but will throw a token hand up in the air. The only Mexican wave I have taken part in was at Glastonbury when the lead singer of Elbow Guy Garvey organised a wave to go from the front of the Pyramid stage all the way to the back but to be honest my social barriers are down at Glastonbury and anything goes. We had arranged to get picked up at 6pm but the way the game was developing there was a distinct possibility of a result. We decided to stick at 6pm but another two quick wickets to leave India at 6 men out we made the text and got our pick up pushed back to 7pm. A wise decision as the Indian team clearly didn’t fancy working on a Sunday and the game was wrapped up with England winning by an innings and 54 runs not before we cheered to great sixes by Chris Broad then grimaced as the next ball ended up inside his helmet breaking his nose. By now I had switched from lager to cider and resisted the temptation to move onto wine and I was even considering a rare red wine! Only one last cricketing tradition left and that one being a tradition that we only do and before we get picked up over the last 10 years of going the cricket we have a game of jingles in the same speck some steps which is the jingles Old Trafford. In past years we have had up to 16 people playing in the test match cricket jingles world championship but we were down to four this year and Joel won the title with a tremendous first throw and will hold the title for 12 months until we hopefully get tickets for the Ashes 2015.
So we headed back to Liverpool not in a too bad a condition drunken wise and finished the evening in The Kingsman pub or whatever it is called these days, it will always be “The Kings” to me. Only one option left after being booted out after last orders and a bag of chips from the Ko-Sing chippy. The taxi gods smiled on me as I got one straight away and scoffed my chips before falling up the stairs into bed and suffering mid sleep cramps in my calf’s showing hot much I must have downed to cause such de-hydration !! Such is the drinking prowess of me and Joel is that when one of the lads was struggling with his drink it was noted that “These two containers” would be able to be help finish any spare drink. One last random musing is that during one of many toilet breaks there was a lad standing at the urinal with a phone in one hand sending a text and having a piss with the other. Sad indeed and I was praying his phone fell into a puddle of piss. But it was not to be but instead a great feat of managing to finish his piss and put himself away with one hand whilst still keep going on with his phone in the other. Wouldn’t like to shake his hands to congratulate him on such a feat though. Another great day out at the test match and I don’t like cricket, oh no, I love it.
Fay x x x x x x