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What AOC Learnt This Week

Having watched Andrew Strauss and his West Indian namesakes rack up tons at Trent Bridge, Sam Stow sits back and learns us all…

Taking the train to Nottingham yesterday morning was somewhat of an ordeal. It wasn’t the coffee (solid), nor the bacon sandwich (good) or even the silly start time – it was the baby. I’m always amazed by the noises a crying child can make, ranging from guttural gurgles to shrillest of shrieks. Such was the wailing of this child over the course of the journey, that even the sight of hordes of perverts drinking cheap lager at Hooters bar couldn’t dampen my spirits once I’d escaped.

And, once I was in the ground itself, I was as happy as Larry. It’s a bold claim, but Trent Bridge is arguably England’s finest Test match ground. Sizeable without being vast, modern and traditional in equal parts, and – above all – incredibly friendly. It helps that the sun’s shining for the first time since last August, but, even with the European Championships looming like a rather boring cloud on the horizon, yesterday felt like one that was made for cricket and cricket alone.

Lesson 1. A cricket breakfast consists of a full English and beer
I’m not sure the England management would agree, but that’s what the Riverbank pub in West Bridgford reckon.

Lesson 2. Henry Blofeld is an eccentric
Hardly a revelation, but when you see a man commentating on national radio in a butcher’s apron, the world needs to know.

Lesson 3. Sports journalists need back massages to do their jobs properly
At least you would think so if you were in the press box at Trent Bridge this week. When you’re stocking up on coffee and cake, the last thing you expect to see is Stephen Brenkley or Viv Richards slumped over a chair receiving a rub down. For some unknown reason the ECB have decided to treat all us hacks to the healing hands of a complimentary masseuse.

Lesson 4. “Wallabies’ eyeballs are rank”
This week saw Freddie Flintoff give a less than ringing endorsement of Aboriginal cuisine in an interview discussing his latest mad-cap TV project, Freddie Flintoff Goes Wild. I’m more of a forehead man myself.

Lesson 5. All interviews should be conducted in black tie
As Graeme Swann proved during an illuminating and excruciating video on the BBC’s website this week.

Click here to find out what AOC learnt last week

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