A fine advertisement for Test cricket

A fine advertisement for Test cricket

mass appeal Massive turn-out for the opening Test between India and England at Lord’s  underscored the healthy state of Test cricket and public interest in the series. AFPThere were as many spectators inside Lord’s — and it was packed to the brims — as outside. The queues were serpentine and after a certain period in the morning, the nearest tube station to Lord’s, St John’s Wood, had to be shut down to have better control of the crowd. People wanting to alight at this station either had to get down one station before or at the next stop. It was a manic Monday at Lord’s.

The touts made some fast buck, selling tickets at 10 times over their printed prices on the fourth day. But the organisers’ decision to sell one ticket per person on the final day left no role for the black-ticket sellers.

The series against India is not an emotional one like the Ashes, but the genuine prospect of England displacing India as the World number one Test side has generated unprecedented interest among the English fans. Of course there is a huge number of Indian followers who are also contributing to the hysteria.

“We’ve said that it’s going to be a huge series playing against India and you just have to look at the crowds...  there is such a huge interest,” said Kevin Pietersen when asked compare the on-going series against India to the traditional Ashes. “... But it’s totally different playing Australia. There’s a genuine hatred between the English and the Australians. That feel for us in the dressing room, in terms of the cricket being played, is totally different. We have obviously got goals as a team that we have set out to achieve.

“India are a fantastic team, when you look at that batting order you get three, four, five wickets and you’ve still got great players coming to wicket. It’s going to be a tough series, it’s different but with the public interest it will probably be similar for them,” he explained.

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