Adventures in Culture part 11: England v Bangladesh
England v Bangladesh, ODI, The Oval
Sports chants. I love them.
Puerile. Catchy as hell.
My personal favourites are when I go to see Hull City…
“01482. 01482. 0148. 0148. 01482 - HULL!”
(Yes, that's the Hull area dialling code - and don't you forget it).
“Give me a C. I. T. Y. And what have you got? THE TIGERS!”
(Spelling was never our strong point)
...and after I went to see England play Bangladesh at The Oval I have a new one for my collection…
“YORKSHIRE WATER! TETLEY BITTER! NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH! OI!”
…and for a day watching cricket, I can confirm that both liquids are essential for a sunshine-drenched 8 hours of chess-like attrition and sporting competition.
I know the rules of cricket can be mind boggling - and explaining them can be on a par with explaining the offside rule in football - but if you haven't been before, I implore you to try a match at least once. Just accept that the team with the highest run score wins* and soak up the atmosphere.
And my trip to The Oval didn't disappoint last week. The sun was shining, I had a bag full of food and a cheeky wine spritzer in my bag - and I was ready to drift away.
In terms of competition, it wasn't the most exciting match - a routine England win with time to spare, barring one or two minor scares (and a contentious 'catch' rightly deemed 'not out' by the video umpire).
But, the atmosphere supplied by the fans made it for me; Both were in different time zones: the sizeable Bangladeshi support were raucous from the off, whilst the home fans got into their stride once the win looked all but sown up (and the hours of drinking beer kicked in) - queue the slurred chants about the delights of drinks in Yorkshire from the lads from Leeds in front of us.
As world class England batter Joe Root smashed the final 4 over the boundary to seal the win, I left south London satisfied - and working out when I could go again!
*unless it's a draw, but that's another story.
Where to next?
I'm only in London for another month (after a decade!) - so I'm up for anything (but, not THAT, you muck minded people). Tweet me your suggestions @stephenrich or comment below.
Until next time, keep it legside and short of mid-wicket.