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My favourite game: England v Australia, fifth Ashes Test, 1968 | Stephen Bates

A Derek Underwood-inspired England – assisted by the Oval’s resourceful spectators – beat the final-day flood, clock and Australian resistance to start my lifelong obsession with cricket

I was clearing out some old papers a while back when a small pink slip fell out. Even after 50 years I knew instantly what it was because it had been stuck to my bedroom wall when I was a teenager: indeed the old brown shadows of the tape were still there. It was the ticket for my first day’s Test cricket: the fifth Test against Australia at the Oval on 22 August 1968: Derek Underwood’s match and the game that started a lifelong obsession.

We joined my friend Matthew and his mother – two teenagers, what were we thinking of, taking our mothers? – and caught an early train from deepest Berkshire. London was a big, strange place where we rarely ventured and never as far south as SE11. We were square to the wicket and the players were so distant as to be indistinct, almost lost against the crowd.

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My favourite game: England v Australia, fifth Ashes Test, 1968 | Stephen Bates

A Derek Underwood-inspired England – assisted by the Oval’s resourceful spectators – beat the final-day flood, clock and Australian resistance to start my lifelong obsession with cricket

I was clearing out some old papers a while back when a small pink slip fell out. Even after 50 years I knew instantly what it was because it had been stuck to my bedroom wall when I was a teenager: indeed the old brown shadows of the tape were still there. It was the ticket for my first day’s Test cricket: the fifth Test against Australia at the Oval on 22 August 1968: Derek Underwood’s match and the game that started a lifelong obsession.

We joined my friend Matthew and his mother – two teenagers, what were we thinking of, taking our mothers? – and caught an early train from deepest Berkshire. London was a big, strange place where we rarely ventured and never as far south as SE11. We were square to the wicket and the players were so distant as to be indistinct, almost lost against the crowd.

Continue reading...

About the Author

Comments are closed.