My visit to The (Kia) Oval Part 2

My visit to The (Kia) Oval Part 2

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So this is to continuation of my experience of being at The Oval in person and watching the second day of the test match.

If you haven’t read my blog reflecting on my experience on Day 1, you can click on My visit to The (Kia) Oval Part 1 to find out more.

I had a different kind of excitement about the second day because I was in the opposite end which felt closer to the action.

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When I got to the Laker Stand, I felt like I was a VIP or a special guest, it wasn’t far from going past the Hobbs Gates, there were two guards outside and when I found out I was in the right place, I was over the moon, I couldn’t believe it. I was so ecstatic. When I got to my seat, it felt like I was in the Royal Box or in a first class carriage. The atmosphere was so peaceful, there were only a small limited capacity so I wasn’t that disturbed. There were also seats with companies names on so I knew I was with articulate minds lol. On the right of me there was the Beer Garden and only people from that particular stand could access it which is why it felt exclusive. The tip I would give to anyone going to the Laker Stand would be always keep hold of your tickets, I went out the Laker Stand to fill up my water bottle just around the corner and when I came back to the Stand, I needed to show the guards my ticket to get allowed back into the stand.

 

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While I was watching the game, I used the earpiece that my cousin lend me so I had the treat of listening to the commentary at the same time.

In overall reflection,

I didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I liked, there are a combination of a few things that caused this.

First off, I went to the two days by myself because I didn’t feel there was anyone in particular that I would see myself going with and because of that I did feel a little bit isolated in some respects. It didn’t really put me that I was going by myself because my main attention would be to watching the match and my mind usually freezes at that point. If I did have a mate there, I would be thinking what can I talk about in the duration of seven hours? Not a lot lol.

This experience has given me the realisation of what it would be like travelling to Lord’s which has put me off from going to the test match in September and it also impacts on what I can expect if I was traveling to Australia. I think it’s safe to say I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked.

In terms of the day itself, I don’t think I could sit through a day anytime soon, it feels very long-winded in many respects which has put me off from going to Australia because the trip from London to Sydney would roughly take 12 hours alone followed by sitting a minimum of six days or a maximum of 10 match days. If I can’t sit and enjoy two days then how I am I going to through the rest of the days.

One thing that bothered me about both days was the crowd. The one thing I find hard to cope with in general on match days is a crowd of people going to a specific event. For instance, when I was at uni and coming home in the evenings, sometimes England would play at Wembley Stadium and I go past Wembley Park (nearest station to the stadium) that would always bother me. Recently when Joshua was fighting Klitchsko at Wembley Stadium, I was coming home from Kensington so I had a mob of fans on the train who were very loud. The atmosphere of having a large crowd has always bothered me in a small places. I do accept that these situations are likely to happen and I have to mask my feelings. I’m quite glad I’m not a season ticket holder in the football sense because the crowds on the train every week would likely put me off so I’m just glad I don’t go out on match days and avoid it as much as possible. Having said that, this won’t put me off going to Old Trafford, San Siro or Lyon to watch a football game. As long as I can travel to at least one game then I’m happy.

I can at least admit that by writing this blog , I have been open to expressing my feelings and giving my reactions. I tried something but unfortunately it didn’t work out to the way I wanted.

Unfortunately we can get cases like that in different things so it is up to us as an individual to just experience it.

It is a shame but it’s out the way now so I won’t lose sleep over this. I basically compare this experience to an internship role I performed in a digital marketing agency, I was interested to know what it would be like to work in digital marketing but after the two weeks I came to the realisation and conclusion that it wasn’t a career I wanted to pursue.

It can be about trial and error, if you aren’t going to try to experience new things then you don’t have the way of knowing. I felt like that in the way of thinking last year on going on my first date, if I hadn’t gone to Dublin then potentially I would have no way of knowing whether the girl was going to like me or not. I’m just glad I can sit here now and be on good terms with her. She gives me inspiration to better my life 🙂

And I’m glad now that I found my answer that I can just enjoy cricket from my bedroom or living room and not have to go to watch it live.

My visit to The (Kia) Oval Part 1

My visit to The (Kia) Oval Part 1

Hello everyone.

This first part of my blog will be discussing my experience of going to the first day of the test series at The Oval cricket ground between England and South Africa.

My purpose of going to The Oval was to have a first-hand experience of what it is like as a spectator to be watching a test match close-up as I feel it is important for me to accomplish this feat as it was one my goals I wanted to achieve.

I love watching test matches on TV, when I was at university, I would literally stay up during the night around Christmas time to watch test matches that aired in Australia and be up during the day to watch test matches shown in South Africa.

My love of watching test cricket was what drove me to go and watch the test match at The Oval Cricket ground so I felt that this was an opportunity to accomplish this achievement.

I initially went for the first two days of the test match.

What felt special about going to the test match at the time is that it was the 100th match to be hosted at the ground which I find remarkable. I’m not going to bore everyone with cricket facts because my audience is not specifically cricket fans lol. Why I find it remarkable is that it is second best to Lord’s cricket ground (if you are wanting to watch cricket in London that is) so I didn’t think there would be many test matches held at the venue but cricket has exceeded for over 100 years.

So on the first day, I was feeling excited about going and I was relieved than anything to have some time to relax and put the pressures of work aside.

When I got to The Oval, I think I arrived on the dot at 11 so I had to rush to my seat. If you saw my previous article of my visit to Lord’s, I was a bit cautious on going to a cricket match.

One of them was that i was concerned someone had already taken my seat and the feeling of getting sun burnt AGAIN. I didn’t actually mind where I was sitting, I wanted a straight on view of the pitch rather than a side on view and be close up in each of the two days with opposite views. On the first day, I was by the OCS stand so to me it felt further away than the opposite side. I certainly felt that it was a bit quieter which was ok.

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Some of the drawbacks I experienced was that I was concerning on the game too much with my eyes so in one of the pics that was taken of me on the day looked like I had a black eye which wasn’t great. I also wasn’t familiar to what to expect in a day of a test match, I knew it would last a day but it felt a long day, here is like the times:

11am – 1pm (first session)

1:45 to 4pm (second session)

4:15 to 7pm (third session)

In total that is roughly seven hours of play to watch in a day. For me it felt mentally draining to actually watch all of it. What I didn’t do on the first day was have a proper meal. I only brought about two breakfast bars which wasn’t a lot so that is one thing I specific learnt, always come prepared.

One unexpected surprise was meeting my cousin and uncle at the game, I was happy to see them both at the game and thank them both for their hospitality they showed. If it is the only time I’ll see friends or family at a cricket match then at least it will go down as a memory to savor.

Disappointedly, the rain came down during the latter end of the day so some of the play was stopped. When the play was suspended, I took my mind off the match and spent some time walking through the ground, it wasn’t an ideal experience going through the crowd but I wanted to explore the different parts of the ground in the mean time. By the time it was close of play, the rain poured down very heavily, I was glad when I got out of there when I did but there was also people rushing out as well going to the nearest tube station as it was around the time people would get travel home from work as well so that wasn’t ideal either.

The things I took away from the first day were:

  1. The opportunity to see FAMILY,  Family is SPECIAL MOMENT IN TIME (SMIT lol)
  2. The second thing, I needed to remember to put suncream on for the day after
  3. Remember to prepare a packed lunch
  4. Listen to the cricket commentary to entertain myself with
  5. Bring loads of water

Part 2 will be up shortly

Taster at Lords

Taster at Lords

 

In this blog, I am going to be writing about my experience of watching a cricket match at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

I was excited that I got a ticket to go to Lord’s to watch a ODI game between England against Ireland, it felt like getting a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

I gained a ticket from entering a successful ballot draw.

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I felt like there was no other cricket arena suitable apart from Lord’s as it is a nearby cricket venue. The match itself felt meaningful to me to go and watch because I have a story between those two teams, I am English myself so I was rooting for England in a lot of ways but on the other end of the dice there was Ireland, my mother comes from Ireland originally so I was half rooting for Ireland to do well.

I was seated at ground level directly where the Mound stand is, just by the cover area which is South west direction of the pitch.

When I first sat in my seat, I watched some of the England team train at the end I was at the ground, I recognised Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Liam Plunkett. I tried to look at where the coin toss was but I couldn’t see where they were as either they were too far away from me or where I was seating I couldn’t see them through the people on the field.

By the time England finished their batting, it was time for an innings break so in this time, I walked outside the grounds of Lord’s, I liked going through different parts of the ground, the only thing that was in my mindset was learning about the history about the game so I went to the Museum and I enjoyed my time and learning about the history of cricket.

By the time I came back from lunch, some of the people had taken my seat so I felt like I was forced to sit somewhere else. At this time, it did feel uncomfortable about where I was sitting as I was on my own and felt like I just had to take an empty seat so I did feel it was unfair.

I didn’t stay for the full match, I was there until about an hour before it finished because I knew England were going to beat Ireland at that point in time so there wasn’t a real reason why I would have stayed anyway.

The downsides of going to Lord’s which was that I underestimated the weather, it does sound obvious if it’s about the rain but haha it was about how warm it was. I didn’t put any suncream on beforehand because I was anticipating that it was going to be cold and chilly. By the end of it, my face went to bright red so I didn’t look great to go to work the next day.

Although I had a good view of the match, I didn’t feel as though I enjoyed it so much, I feel because there was people talking at either side, I didn’t enjoy the noise and the atmosphere.

Through the experience, at least I was glad to get the opportunity to go to Lords and sit through a match day. I’ve been there and done what I achieved to do.