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Fans flock to Old Trafford

Investec Test Series
Old Trafford

Huge queues formed at Old Trafford © Getty Images

The gates at Old Trafford had to be closed 40 minutes before the start of the final day of the third npower Test after selling out of tickets.

Queues for the £10 tickets began overnight as cricket fans attempted to gain entry for the crunch final day as England attempted to claim the final 10 Australian wickets which would clinch a 2-1 lead in the five Test series.

Lancashire officials were expecting large crowds but were taken aback by the volume of queues which formed in the early hours of the morning and some of the England players even had their arrival delayed by the numbers of people outside the ground..

It led to the gates being closed 40 minutes before the scheduled start at 10.30am and Geoff Durbin, marketing manager at Lancashire CCC, estimated over 10,000 people had to be turned away.

Old Trafford

Fans began queuing in the early hours of the morning © Getty Images

“It looks as though more than 10,000 have been locked out,” he said. “The scenes have been phenomenal. The only disappointment is that we have had to lock the gates and turn away so many people.

"It’s unbelievable the heights cricket can reach - at the moment it’s even putting soccer in the shade.

“It was difficult to plan ahead for the fifth day. We just didn’t know how the match was going to turn out, but we worked hard last night to make as many arrangements as possible.”

Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes added: “We’ve turned away more than 10,000 this morning - I’ve never seen anything like it.

“We’ve had more than 115,000 coming through the gates for this match - it’s just astounding.

“I got to the ground at 6.30am and it was like Wimbledon with queues of fans all over the place with some of them getting here at 2am in the morning.

“Manchester United had a winning start to the Premiership on Saturday, but all anyone wants to talk about around here is cricket and this match.”