Out of all the venues that are on the current International match circuit, I had seen matches at all bar one – The Rose Bowl in Southampton. Except in the modern world it is not called that anymore. I am sure in years to come we will reminisce about our visits to the Ageas Bowl just like we do about the Kia Oval, the Emirates in Durham and the Swalec in Cardiff. Sponsors will be around forever, right? Short term gain for long term what?
The ground last year became the 105th (and newest) venue to be used for test cricket when it hosted the game between England and Sri Lanka. The ground can hold an impressive 25,000 when the temporary seating is put in, but today with only a couple of those stands in place the crowd looked no more than 5 or 6,000. Yet the experience of those stuck trying to get into the car park before the game, and the 90 minutes to try to get out of it after the game calls into question their ability to handle crowds effectively. But more of that later… Continue reading
England woke up on Saturday 19th June to a dark cloud hanging over most areas. The events the previous evening in Cape Town had taken the wind out of the sails of those horrible car window flags and the press had sharpened their knives in preparation to cut down another promising tournament. I had taken Friday off, a rare break from the stresses of work. So what did I end up doing? Of course, working and then watching sport – a typical TBIR day off really.
Don’t feel too sorry for me though (no please really – I don’t want medals, or even money for such dedication). The joys of the World Cup meant that by 12.30pm I was watching the Germany v Serbia game in the pub with a cold glass of Fuller’s Honey Dew beer. A great game thanks to some bizarre refereeing but made even bizarre by the commentary on the TV being at least 10 seconds behind the picture. It would have been rude not to have stayed for one more and of course the first half of the Slovenia v USA game, which as you will know USA won again (don’t believe me? Look here) before I headed down to the Oval. Continue reading