REPORTS of the death of Test cricket are greatly exaggerated – if the sell-out crowd who flocked to pack out Lord’s yesterday are anything to go by.
Discounted tickets for the final day of a nail-biting first match between England and India drew swarms of cricket lovers to north-west London, where queues snaked all the way back to St John’s Wood underground station.
With a record attendance of more than 25,000 for the fith day of a Test, Lord’s staff started turning people away before they even got into line. Tickets were quickly limited to one per person in an attempt to ward off touts.
The clamour to witness the clash between the current two best Test sides in the world created an unusually lively atmosphere and prompted comparisons with famous Ashes matches against Australia.
“It reminded me of 2005, I think it was at Old Trafford,” said Kevin Pietersen, whose double century in the first innings set England on course for victory.
“You clocked in as a player at 8:30am and already there were people standing outside.”
England captain Andrew Strauss added: “I think it was a great atmosphere. We all appreciate playing Test cricket in front of full houses.”
Under-16s were allowed in for free, attracting children starting their school summer holidays.