Mon 1 Aug 2011
It is a beautiful, sunny day, and we have arranged a Village outing to one of the nicest venues in test cricket.
“Booooo!” somebody cries.
“What’s happening?” asks John Twonil, joining in the crowd’s confusion.
It appears that cricketer Ian Bell has been unfairly run out for not knowing the rules. People look at each other, not knowing what is going on. “Booooo!” somebody else shouts as the players leave the field. It is clear that the crowd might be difficult to disperse.
“There will now be a tea break for twenty minutes,” intones the announcer.
There is a mad rush as the crowd disperses for the bar and toilets.
“I am a bit torn,” I tell Big Andy, as we see the queue for Guinness. “I don’t want to be late back and miss my chance to have another good boo.”
We hesitate, before agreeing that I will queue for the bar whilst he goes to the toilet, meaning that we will save time and hopefully be back to our seats for the resumption of the boo. A few minutes later, I hand him the tray of drinks and rush to the urinals. As I relieve myself, a man sprints in and stands beside me.
“Hurry up,” he says to himself. “Must get back to boo.”
I am a little late returning to the stand, but fortunately the game has been held up on some technicality. There is excitement in the crowd as the opportunity to boo grows nearer.
“Here they come!” somebody exclaims, as the door opens and the umpires and Indian team walk out.
“Booooo!” I shout.
“Booooooooo!” shouts Big Andy.
“Booo! Booooo boooooooo!” shouts Mrs Big Andy, John Twonil and the Village Doctor. “Boooooo!”
Cricketer Ian Bell emerges from the pavilion. “Boooo!” we shout. Oh. “Hoooooray! Hooray!” We cheer cricketer Ian Bell, although to be quite honest we are a little disappointed as we feel like we have been booing unjustifiably. “It is like our boo has been taken away from us,” I tell the Village Doctor, who nods sadly.
Later on, the announcer bursts into action again. “Here is an announcement. At teatime, the Indian captain MS Dhoni withdrew his appeal against cricketer Ian Bell,” he informs us.
“Hooooray!” Hooray for the Indians and their captain MS Dhoni. We get to our feet and clap and cheer for this very sporting gesture.
“Please get to your feet and clap and cheer for this very sporting gesture,” the announcer adds, somewhat tarnishing our impromptu appreciation, as earlier on we had been denied the justice of the boo.
The serious business of cricket continues in an entertaining fashion, helped along by a man dressed as a giant fish being repeatedly ejected from the stand. Big Andy accidentally drops his Guinness on the man sitting in front of us.
Later on and back home, I send him a text. “Your big booing face is on Sky TV,” I tell him.