The bloke on the tele said that the tickets would be £20 for adults and free for under 16's with ID. The match looked poised for a good ending and perhaps as well as India losing we might be treated to a bit of a fight from Tendulkar and him scoring his 100th century? It looked like a plan.
I texted a couple of mates to see if they'd be up for it and none of them were, but one warned 'Get there early as it'll be packed'. We heeded his message and decided we'd get there just as the ticket office opened at 08.30 hrs. With sandwhiches, drinks, passports (ID), binoculars and £20 cash ready we made our way to Lords coming round the corner to our first view of the ground at 08.32. What we saw, we could not believe, the queue went up one road out of sight and down the other road out of sight 4 people wide! Thousands and thousands of people already there and waiting it didn't look promising. I knew that the capacity of the ground was in the 25,000 figure, but just what we could see here was several thousand already. We followed the queue along the road and round several corners and past another seperate queue that was apparently just as long! 10 minutes later we found the end and joined with the prospect it seemed of probably missing the start of the match.
A little later some marshalls went along the crowd saying 'Can you please be aware that you are so far down the queue, you're not guranteed a seat and you may well be turned away. Can we please ask you not to turn on the marshalling staff as it is out of their hands and not their fault'. Again, this didn't really fill us with any sense of hope, but we were here and it looked like we might get lucky.
Shortly after joining the queue (10 mins) a bloke pushed in and an Asian bloke directly in front of us took exception to this blokes action and accosted him, telling him to get out of the queue and get to the back. I was most impressed, I hate queue jumpers, but find that because of my British reserve I don't ever say anything to them directly, but this bloke dealt with the queue jumper effectively and I decided to take a leaf out of his book and join him and help him eject any more queue jumpers and this turned out to be a good move as it served to break up the boredom of queueing for 2.5 hours and created a sense of community amongst the people around us who all joined in eventually to form a united front against queue jumpers.
to be continued