Queen meets players at start of second Ashes Test

The Queen visits Lord's Cricket Ground

The Queen visits Lord’s Cricket Ground. Photo source: The British Monarchy. Photo © Press Association.
Note: The article below is from the Guardian.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Queen meets players at start of second Ashes Test” was written by Owen Gibson at Lord’s, for guardian.co.uk on Thursday 18th July 2013 11.33 UTC

The second Ashes Test at Lord’s started 15 minutes late to allow the Queen to make her traditional visit. And as monarch of both countries, she can at least be assured of celebrating victory whichever side prevails.

The Queen kept both teams nervously waiting on a sweltering outfield, before being applauded through the Long Room and out onto the pitch by MCC members, some of whom had been queueing since 3am to secure their seat.

Preceded by a flurry of security guards and England and Wales Cricket Board officials, she was first introduced to the MCC chief executive, Derek Brewer, and then to Darren Lehmann, the Australian coach who revels in his down-to-earth image.

In traditional FA Cup final style, she was led in turn down the line-ups of both teams, introduced first by the Australian captain, Michael Clarke, and then by England’s Alastair Cook, to the players.

If any of the Australian players harboured republican views, they didn’t let it show and most shuffled nervously from foot to foot as they waited their turn.

It wasn’t apparent whether Her Majesty had any words of consolation for fast bowler Steven Finn, dropped for this Test in favour of Tim Bresnan, or encouragement for James Anderson, who took a 10-wicket haul at the first Test at Trent Bridge.

Meanwhile, former England spin bowler Phil Tufnell kept up an incongruous commentary on Test Match Special, describing Her Majesty’s outfit as “blue turquoise with white circles and a rather fetching hat”.

The Queen is not known to be a huge cricket fan but according to some reports had kept up with the score in the tense first Test, which ended in a nailbiting 14-run victory for England. The dramatic see-saw Test helped whet the appetite for the double Ashes series that features an unprecedented 10 matches at home and away.

The home fans, who thronged Lord’s in expectation, were hoping the presence of the Queen, who stayed to watch the start of play from the MCC balcony, has a similar effect to her last visit.

In 2009, Australia slumped from 103-2 to 152-8 as they collapsed under the onslaught of the bowling of Anderson, who claimed four wickets and swung the Test in England’s favour.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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