Second Test, Lord's Day 4
Written by Luke Gillian
Thrown at the web around 23/07/2001 04:21:03
Second Test, Lord's Day 4
It was an inevitable victory for Australia but gee, I thought it would take a bit longer than what it did! OK, finishing the game after only 90 minutes of play can't be so bad when you expect it to end soon,
It was an inevitable victory for Australia but gee, I thought it would take a bit longer than what it did! OK, finishing then game after only 90 minutes of play can't be so bad when you expect it to end soon, but one wonders why it couldn't have ended yesterday and save us all the trouble of heading across London for the presentations. That in its own right was significant enough!
For the first time at Lord's, the presentations were made on the field whilst the crowd were kept at a safe distance behind the ring of toxic-lime vested security personnel. This practice of preventing the crowd from entering the field for the presentations has come about following the One-Day Final against Pakistan when one unruly spectator, from an origin outside the UK, decided to throw a beer can onto the Australian balcony, and with that has spoilt, the somewhat pleasing tradition of parading across the field to stand under the presentation balcony to cheer on gainful heroes.
It is a shade disappointing knowing the balcony presentations were something that always happened, but England has shown a few cracks in their shell of tradition in the recent past so maybe this is just another split! At the end of the day, what does it matter when the game was won by Australia irrespective of where the cheque gets handed over? And gee, wasn't it just a marvellous victory; well before the lunch break came around!
I for one hadn't the time to get into the terraces to sample life, so I do find it a little disheartening that for the first time in my touring career I failed to see the win with my own eyes; instead through the media centre glass, fogged by a beef stew at the back, patiently waiting for the game to end and the press hungry contingent to eagerly charge forth. And yes I was one of them!
I sat admiring Darren, Flash, Bomber, Mark and co feverishly 'Waving their Hands' for Australia in the dying minutes of the morning as England plumetted from 4/163 to be 7/188 only six-overs into the session and thought how I would much prefer to be out there. But then, I knew that anyway and lunch was getting cold! The media box is not for me but I live with what I must do, and for one test match I can sit in quarantine knowing I return to the 'land of the living' in only a matter of 10 days at Trent Bridge.
Even in such a position where I must, for the better part of the day, 'remain impartial' I couldn't quite hold back my emotion of victory. There is something well and truly ingrained in my blood that senses a wonderful feeling! And even though England fought it out to force Australia to bat again, and even though we did lose two untimely wickets in the process of chasing a mere 14 runs, I couldn't hold back my cheer when that inevitable victory became reality.
OK, I am not supposed to cheer loudly, but I swear if I had my flag in the press box I would have been 'Waving the Flag' for the lads as if I were in the terrace. Yes, it is true that I don't like Lord's, but a win is a win, and a win at Lord's is easily the most significant win a touring Australian side can have over the English regardless of their opposition.
I was here in 1997 when Glenn McGrath snared 8/38 and although Australia failed to record the win, instead having to remain satisfied with the rained out draw, watching Pigeon clean up the English, and Matty Eliott belt a hundred was satisfaction enough; the English 'Bacon and Egg' tie wearers startled at the English capitulation to be bowled out for 77. That was 4 years ago, but even today, watching the boys smash the homeside, that only three months ago were enjoying their fourth consecutive series victory, makes one just punch the air with delight! And that was exactly what I did!
Sitting in the front row of the press gallery, tucking into my beef stew, and garlic and herb bread ensemble, as the boys were doing their victory lap, Adam Gilchrist saw me clenching my fists (wrapped around a knife and fork) with pride and pointed me out to Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer and Steve Waugh who all looked up, pointed at me and too punched the air with delight as I rose to my feet in joyous rage, acknowledging their sign of appreciation and thrill at winning here.
My signs of bias support for the visitors was noticed by a few disgruntled English Tabloid journalists and a few understanding Australian media representatives, but when I needn't show up again in the press box for the duration of the series, what do I care when failing to follow protocol? This was an Australian victory and a victory to savour, more so than the the stew at lunchtime! Bring on Trent Bridge!
Luke Gillian 23/07/2001 04:21:03