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