Reflections at a Cricket Festival
Pitched up yesterday at the Cheltenham Cricket Festival; found out who we (Gloucestershire) were playing against (Northants ) and made my way into the ground.
I try to go once a year , in order to maintain the social law , stating that:' If one wishes to sleep in the sun in a field , then watch cricket '
However , that plan failed , on two
1 - temperatures were on the low side ( 18/19C) and there was a constant threat of sharp rain showers.
2- too much action upon the playing surface ; wickets were seen to tumble ( 15 in the day's play ) , eleven of which transpired during the afternoon session ( 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.) that I saw.
The usual modus operandi , when entering a cricket ground is as follows.
Select your seat affording a view in the general direction of the pitch. Sit and wait to absorb the rhythm of the game and realize that nothing much is going on. Wait again and realize that really nothing is going on.
Open your morning paper and check the obituaries . If your name is missing proceed to a study of the downward movements of your portfolio and finally read about yesterday's cricket in the sport pages.
After which slap on some sun cream and then lay back in the chair and welcome the rays and the onset of lunch after an agreeable interval of time.
I remember in days of old being awoken by the shrill cries of " get your up to date score cards "
and wondering if I had been transported to a parallel universe or another ground. Who needed this with two score boards on the ground ?
However my father , loved these score cards and would fill in each detail of the fall of wickets sometimes even daring to ask a complete stranger the name of fielder , batsman or bowler as appropriate. At the end of the day's play this scorecard would be consigned to the inside jacket pocket and would be never seen again.
I often wondered what became of them , perhaps they were brought out as part of a winter solstice ceremony ; peered at with due reverence and then returned to a drawer. It will forever remain a mystery.
But , I digress , today's afternoon session was certainly memorable.
The Gloucestershire's batsmen behaved like rabbits in the headlight and offered no resistance to the tall left hand bowler David Lucas who claimed a career-best 7 for 24 runs and thus the County were skittled out finally for 142 . ( first innings 147)
Northants then came on to score the required 58 for victory , losing a token one wicket and so by six o'clock the sparse ( by festival standards) muted crowd made their way back home ; leaving Gloucestershire County Cricket Club to go back to the drawing board.
NP " The Ashes Song " by Phil 'Tuffers ' Tufnell & The Wooden Urns. ( Well it's not all gloom with the cricket , is it !)
P.S. Final match figures for Northants bowler David Lucas were 12 for 73 .