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England tour diary: Packed house at Lord's

Last updated on: July 25, 2011 19:44 IST

'Have you seen such crowds in London before?'


Bikash Mohapatra

It is a common sight in India. But if it happens in London, it does seem strange.

- Match Report Images

Long queues outsides the ground, trying to secure tickets for the final day's action. So much so that the closest tube station (St John's Woods) had to be closed.

As one reached the media gate, the stewardess asked with a smile, "Have you seen such crowds in London before?"

As it turned out, it was almost a packed house for the final day of the India-England first Test at Lord's.

But, sure, there were many left disappointed.

Image: Spectators queue as they wait for the gates to be opened ahead of day five
Photographs: Getty Images

In the lift with Dada

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It was a brief encounter with Sourav Ganguly in the lift.

As the doors were about to close, Dada enter, a little disturbed by the noise hordes of fans outside the ground were making.

"Why are they making so much noise?," he asked.

He was pragmatic, though, when asked about India's chances. "We cannot win the match now. Let's draw it."

Image: Sourav Ganguly and Bob Willis receive caps from ECB Chairman Giles Clarke

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When a Benfica fan met a Porto fan

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It is a dicey situation, to be honest.

The waiter in charge of my room here in London is a staunch Benfica fan. And yours truly is all FC Porto. Arguments are inevitable.

"Why do you like Porto?" he asked the other day.

When told that coach Andre Villa-Boas had moulded them into a good team, he was quick to come up with a reply.

"But he is not there now. He has joined Chelsea," he smiled back.

My answer ensured the argument will continue.

Image: Andre Villa-Boas
Photographs: Reuters
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