Sunday, 25 July 2010

Wisdom of Crowds

B and I went to The Oval for Surrey v Somerset today. Having endured the nerdishness of the upper tier of the pavilion for a while (members swapping signed postcards of the players, I ask you) we decamped to the Family Area.

We witnessed the crowd at its best: cheering 19 year old Jason Roy to the ... erm, rafters (girders?). He'd been fielding on the boundary and making friends. Autographs, waves etc. Next stop: folk hero for an afternoon and his every run applauded. Marvelous.

And then the crowd at its worst: Poor old Jos Butler fielding for Somerset, went for a catch on the boundary to dismiss a Surrey player, stepped over the rope, but not before he tossed the ball back infield, where he collected it and threw it back to the keeper. The crowd wanted it to be a six. They jeered at him for being a cheat. The kids seeking his autograph called him a cheat. Horrible. Mind you, the fifteen year olds behind us were splendid: "I hate it when kids think it's ok to slag players" said one. Good on him.

In between times we'd been allowed on the outfield, which I hadn't done since about 2000 I think. I found it rather moving to take B up to see where the bowlers ran in, and look up at where we'd been watching from the pavilion, where KP hooked Lee in '05... I won't go on, but it were great.

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