Cricket in the Park off to a flyer
It may have been a gloomy couple of days for England at Lord’s over the weekend but the performance of the team failed to dampen the spirits of the thousands of people who flooded into Regent’s Park on Friday and Saturday for ECB’s inaugural ‘Cricket in the Park’ event.
The event, in association with Fosters, was set up to give those fans unable to secure tickets for the live action, the opportunity of savouring the Test match atmosphere in the highly relaxed and picturesque surroundings of Marylebone Green in Regent’s Park.
All part of ECB’s ‘England’s Big Summer’ campaign, the free events have been set up by ECB in response to unprecedented demand for Ashes tickets and a desire to capture the enormous sense of anticipation associated with this summer’s major sporting spectacle.
It appears the event was a huge success with over 3,500 fans turning up on Friday and an unbelievable 8,000 more on Saturday.
Aussies and English fans started arriving from 7am to reserve the best places in front of the big screen to take in every twist and turn of this remarkable Test match, while even Phil Tufnell found time to come down for a cheeky pint and meet some of his admirers.
There were also plenty of other things to do at Cricket in the Park, whether it was seeing the ECB’s Cricket Roadshow, the NatWest Cricket Roadshow, having a drink at one of the bars, sampling the different types of food on offer, reading the official match programme, or testing your own skills in the inflatable nets with speed guns included.
Although no-one got to the frightening pace being displayed on screen, the events and the activities seemed to go down very well.
One fan, who had come all the way from Middlesbrough, said: “I was hoping to get a ticket to the game to see it live, but to be honest this has been just as good and it’s free. I can’t believe it, what a great idea!
"I’ve had a fantastic day and I haven’t missed a ball - I’ll be at Birmingham for the next Cricket in the Park for sure!”
Cricket in the Park, in association with Fosters, continues at Cannon Hill Park in Edgbaston, Birmingham, on August 5-6 for the second npower Test.
It then moves to Queen Square, Bristol, for live coverage of the third npower Test from Old Trafford on August 12-13.