Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A trip to Lord's

Back in October 1996, I made what might be described as a cricketing pilgrimage by some: a visit to Lord's. I was on my way to India, and had decided to stop over in London to visit an old friend working at University College. It might only have been October, but it was bloody cold, and I was jet-lagged after the overnight flight from New York. Thus, a few hours after landing in London, I staggered out (reluctant non-cricket-loving girlfriend in tow) for a walk directed at St. John's Wood. I navigated expertly with the London street map I carried around as I struggled to stay awake and warm, all the while noting uneasily the grumblings of a stomach exposed to too much coffee and too many time-zones. Suddenly, we were there. It said "Lord's Cricket Ground". It all happened a bit quickly. The grounds were closed, not yet open for touring, and so we had time to kill. Somehow the desire for a beer asserted itself and so we walked on for a bit to a pub named (I think) Crocker's. Miraculously, a pint calmed my stomach and my nerves and soon I felt able to return to the ground to see if a tour was on. It was. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable, and we were accompanied by four fairly quiet Australians, who surprisingly, made no attempt to strike up conversation (I was a bit shy myself). The ground itself was not so dramatic but it was easy for me to conjure up scenes of years gone by. I made sure I stepped on the ground when we went down to the field, and tried very hard to convey the magic of the name to my partner (I'm not sure it worked). We went to the dressing rooms and got the obligatory photographs on the balcony. While looking at the honor roll, I pointed out in a very loud voice (ostensibly to my girlfriend, but more likely, for the benefit of the Aussies) that Vengsarkar had scored three hundreds at the ground, the only man to do so. Then, it was off to the museum, and the gift shop before packing up for the day. I was caught up in a wierd mix of emotions; while making a trip to Lord's was quite a dream come true I was so starved of cricket in the US that the fact I had made a trip there and not seen any cricket seemed like a particularly cruel confirmation of the expatriate's basic lot in life: not quite here, not quite there.


Blogger kamrul hasan said...

Dear bloger i like ur article. carry on. i should read more.

9:50 AM  

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