On 17May14 I got a mail in my inbox about the bi-centenary celebrations at Lords on 22May14.
We had already bought tickets to the MCC Vs. ROW match in Feb itself (part of these celebrations) and this mail caught my curiosity.
Lords had organized an open-day fair for all fans and the best part was it had tons of entertainment for little kids and loads of events around – free games for kids, Lords Tour, Cricket sessions with the experts , Wine Tasting Tour etc. to go with the 40-over match between Hertfordshire Vs. MCC which had Brian Lara turn up for MCC. These two teams had contested in the first match played on the same day at Lords in 1814.
Sadly we decided to go at the very last minute so missed out on the Lords Tour and Wine Tasting Tour but atleast we got to see how bats were made in the old days and I kept wondering how would Dhoni or Sachin be hitting runs with this one today?
The kids though had a ball of a time especially my 4 year old niece – and she was most excited when the cricket was on and the batsman were hitting boundaries or bowlers taking wickets, she was screaming her lungs out and I was beaming with great pride. Train them early as they say – well we are on target with this little one. Different matter that she sometimes got confused and started yelling GOOOOOOAAAAALL embarrassing the hell out of us!
In between this chaos and super fun, we even managed to get the great man’s autograph, he was meters away from me and I could not quite believe that this was happening in reality.
There are a million dreams we harbour as crickets fans – a dream to watch the match live at the stadium, a dream chance to meet your favourite cricketers, a dream to get the autographs from the heroes themselves, a dream to watch a match at the Mecca of cricket – at some stage of your cricketing fandom you land up seeing most of these dreams become a reality.
But what if you get once in a lifetime chance to do something you did not even dream of – not even in your wildest dream because unless you are a player or an umpire or a groundsman or a ball boy or a steward at the ground – you as a common cricket fan will never ever get to step onto the ground and feel the grass beneath your feet.
Now imagine if that opportunity came at the Mecca of Cricket ? In 2007 when I first visited Lords I went and fulfilled my long-time dream of owning a piece of that pitch in a glass ball which cost me a bomb then – but I never ever imagined I could get to set my feet on this lovely ground.
For the first time since 1987 crowds were permitted to sit in an enclosure on the ground and watch the match, and during the innings break everyone was called out on the ground and permitted to take snaps and walk around.
These are the moments you don’t even dream of and then can you even imagine the joy when you get to live the moment?
The feel of the lush green grass beneath my feet – aha now I have a lovely story to narrate to the next generation of cricket fans in the family. I can finally brag about having set my foot on the Mecca of Cricket.
This visit to Lords was divine and there is more to follow tomorrow – it is a bit difficult to breathe and soak in the awesomeness that will be on display tomorrow! You wonder what I’m talking about? Have you not seen the line-up of teams battling it out for MCC Vs. RoW tomorrow?
Yes – I get your jealousy and am loving it !