The Fifth Ashes Test

I was lucky enough to go to watch the Fifth Ashes Test earlier this week, or at least a day of it, at The Oval in London.  For those not familiar with The Ashes, it is a cricket contest between England and Australia, normally featuring five cricket test matches, each of which is up to five days in length.  It is held every two years, and alternates between England and Australia, and is played at a series of different locations in each.  I was invited to the fourth day of the fifth test in 2009, but could not make it because I was going to a wedding that day.  It turned out to be the day that England not only won the match, but the series, a huge honour in the cricket world, so when someone asked me if I wanted to come along this time, I, of course said yes.

 

Now the idea of a sport where it can take five days to establish a winner may not sound like the fastest paced or most exciting event, but I van assure you that live cricket can be tremendously exciting.  It is great to have a sport where rather than a sudden burst and it’s all over, you can watch it at a more leisurely pace, and enjoy a drink or two in the company of enthusiastic, but good tempered fans.  The “Barmy Army”, the England supporters, were of course out in force, and among their ranks was a trumpeter who treated us to some English & British classics like Jerusalem and God Save The Queen, as well as some for the travelling fans – Waltzing Matilda, I Should Be So Lucky and the The me from Neighbours – as well as, rather more peculiarly, Love Will Tear Us Apart.  I suspect the upbeat and positive nature of the day brought Joy Division to mind…

 

As you know, I do like to take a few photos, but on this occasion I had no camera with me, save for that on my mobile, and with the battery life on my iPhone dwindling fast which limited me to a single picture, I managed a couple of poor quality shots with my Blackberry.

 

The Final Ashes test of 2013

The Fifth Ashes match of 2013 The Oval  hosting The Fifth Ashes match of 2013 The Fifth Ashes match of 2013 The Fifth Ashes match of 2013

 

Like many cricket grounds, the pavilion at The Oval is a rather splendid building, as you can see above, and reminded me of my last cricketing adventure, when I ended up having dinner with some former England players on the other side of the Thames at Lords.  That story is here…