Cricket Diary: Kiwis, Eskimos and the Gower wine list

Driving to Lord’s from anywhere in London is never a good option for anyone not clinically insane.

I possibly fall into that category given I’d travel anywhere to watch leather hit willow. To make matters worse, the day I’m on the road isn’t actually match day; that’s Thursday.

On my way in to NW8, I had the chance to listen to David Gower on the steam wireless – though contemplating the choices for some fine vino he had bought back from the land of the current opponents New Zealand rather than the game. Not being a drinker myself my knowledge of cricket is somewhat deeper than that of fine wine, so I was lost in reminisces of the first time I had watched Gower play. Ask me about wine and you will get a barely casual response. Ask me about a cover drive or square cut and I could go on for an eternity. David Gower had mastered both and they were exquisite to watch.

Once having reached the confines of Lord’s, it was like before the Christmas sales at Harrods: the manic rush and preparation, all the vendors teaching staff how to use the facilities – and the weather.

I was able to see some of the NZ players netting. It was like watching Eskimos play, not that I have ever seen an Inuit with a bat. The English summer has yet to make more than a token appearance so you can understand our antipodean guests wrapping up .

They were facing some of the MCC youngsters, and some of them weren’t just trundling in. If there was a speed gun nearby I’m sure it would have registered some of these tyros at the mid-80s mph mark. One particular NZ batsman was having a torrid time. I hope he’s in the line-up for the Test!

This was my only chance to view the opposition until Saturday when I shall again be at Lord’s to see what Brendon Mcullum’s young team has to offer. He is a very innovative captain as shown last winter, England may be looking ahead to the Ashes, but my advice would be think about and respect your current opponents, as they could easily pull off a surprise or two.

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