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Becoming a Cricket Fan

Watching International Cricket Live

For many cricket fans a day at a test or one-day international match is the bee’s knees. They get to watch the best players in the world going head-tohead, soak up the crowd atmosphere, and partake of the odd beer or ten and perhaps the occasional glass of something chilled and sparkling. Cricket crowds are almost always good-natured, applauding the efforts of opponents. Also, cricket is a family-friendly sport, with reduced prices for children.

Grabbing yourself a ticket

Test and one-day international cricket in England is riding a wave of popularity. Improved performances by the England test team are the key to this popularity. In 2006 the England Cricket Board, which runs test and county cricket in England, reported unprecedented spectator interest. No doubt about it, test cricket is the hot sport of the moment! But this good news story presents cricket fans with a problem – how to get hold of a test or one-day international match ticket?

Tickets for test matches go on general sale over the winter, a few months before the start of the cricket season, which starts in April. The sale of tickets is managed by the individual venues. You can order these over the phone or through the venue’s Web site. See the sidebar ‘English test match grounds’ later in this chapter for full details on all the venues.

Counting the cost of rising ticket prices

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was quick to wake up to the growing demand for test and one-day match tickets. And guess what? They’ve been putting up the price of tickets. In fact, ticket prices at many English test venues have more than doubled in the past five years. Expect to pay between £40 and £60 for a ticket for a day at a test or one-day international match. The most expensive venues are the two London grounds, the Oval and Lords.

Ticket touts are becoming an ever-present feature at test and one-day match venues throughout the country. They have been known to charge fans up to ten times face value and cases exist of fraudulent tickets being sold. Ticket touts are vultures – best walk away.

Enjoying Your Day at the Cricket

Nothing is quite like being a spectator at a big cricket match, particularly if the weather is nice and sunny. You not only get to enjoy the action on the pitch but the crowd itself are quite a spectacle – from knowledgeable types who know the ins and outs of the game to groups of friends there purely to soak up the atmosphere and partake of a drink or two, cricket matches can be great fun. Here’s a guide to all you need to know to enjoy your day at the cricket.

Understanding the times of play in test matches

A day’s play in a test match in England is split into three sessions of play. The morning session of play runs from 10.30 a.m. or 11.00 a.m. for 2 hours. The players then troop off for lunch which lasts 40 minutes. The middle session of play also lasts two hours, when again players leave the field and take tea. After a 20 minute tea break teams emerge for the final session of play which lasts two hours. Ideally the day’s play should finish between 5.30 p.m. and 6.00 p.m.

Last word

However, when it came to batting Knott was streets ahead. He averaged 32 runs per innings, while Taylor averaged a rather limp 18. As a result, Knott is widely recognised as the better player and went on to star in nearly 100 test matches.

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