July 28, 2011

India in England, 2011

The Long Room at Trent Bridge

Sharda Ugra and Nagraj Gollapudi
A view of Trent Bridge during the Twenty20 final, Nottinghamshire v Leicestershire, Twenty20 Final, Trent Bridge, August 12, 2006
Trent Bridge isn't as fussy as Lord's  © Getty Images
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By Sharda Ugra

Trent Bridge's Long Room reflects what the ground is all about: being comfortable in its own skin. Situated at the centre of the old iconic 1886 pavilion, the Long Room stands tucked in between the dressing rooms and the committee stand. Cricket fans recognise the pavilion from its clay-tiled (called Rosemary tiles) roof and balconies framed by hanging pots bursting with geraniums and wild flowers, under which players have often stood looking dazed, confused or delighted.

The walk towards the Long Room is through a long passage covered with framed photographs of every Nottinghamshire cricketer to play Tests for England, all 41 off them. There are black and white portraits of cricketers frozen in bowling positions or batting strokes. There's Alfred Shaw, who played in Test match No.1 and bowled its first ball; the Hardstaff team of father and son who played Tests before World War I; Harold Larwood's sitting dressed in blazer and cap, his soulful gaze lingering through the decades. Around the corner begin the colour photographs of a newer generation. The bar is crowned by a display of bats used by greats including WG Grace and Victor Trumper.

In a place replete with history and tradition, a certain set of strictures about what can and cannot be done/ worn/ allowed inside would be predicable and acceptable. Yet not only does Trent Bridge straddle generations, it accepts the passage of time. In the First World War, its pavilion was used as a military hospital, and in the second, an office used by Royal Mail to sort out letters.

Two days before the Test, media press conferences were held in the Long Room and had journalists stampeding through, trailing wires, cameras, mikes and our general disturbance. Not an eyebrow was lifted because, it was discovered, a local band is given the space - for free - to practice before its gigs. The band, Dr Comfort and the Lurid Revelations, has not yet burst into the UK Top 40, but one of its members - GP Swann - has taken 254 wickets for England.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Nott'm Jas on (August 1, 2011, 22:13 GMT)

Thank you for writing such kind words about a place where I spend a large amount of my time during the summer. Lord's is a place for show-offs whilst Trent Bridge is a place for real cricket lovers, as was shown by the packed ground on the fours days of the test. Trust you enjoyed your time at Trent Bridge and Nottingham, bar the result of the match of course, and hope that you look forward to visiting us again the next time India are back in England.

Posted by Nitin on (July 30, 2011, 17:13 GMT)

The new TB ground is really beautiful. The aerial shot is superb. I hope the result of 2007 repeats itself. However one observation, Dhoni looks sluggish in the field and a bit defensive. Zaheer and Sehwa being away from the team and Sachin is not middling the ball well is adding to India's woes. The only saviour is the good old WALL. Indian team needs to pull their socks. England team loosk better prepared and they look a good balanced side as well after a long long time.

Posted by david kirkup on (July 28, 2011, 16:43 GMT)

coming from the north of england myself and my late brother used to travel the 200 mile trip most test matches during the 70s to late 90s. it was our favourite of all the grounds in the uk. we never got into the pavilion. but the ground was something special to us. we used to stay in the old musters hotel ( no longer there ) but just a stones throw away from the ground. we went there a few years ago and all the new stands and lights were added, had it lost its special feel. no it looked, great if not better, great job had been done. the notts club should be very proud of what they had done. i will go back sometime myself you never loose the feelling of a great test ground and trent bridge is a great test ground. dpk

Posted by Jingulala on (July 28, 2011, 14:38 GMT)

I have seen trent bridge ground, and it looks like a better ground than Lords..

Posted by Rajesh Sharma on (July 28, 2011, 12:03 GMT)

History will be made at TB. All doubts will be cleared and dusted , and Indian will prove to the world, that they are the real champs .

God bless Dhoni and his lads.....

Posted by redneck on (July 28, 2011, 7:34 GMT)

nice diary entry, its great to read something about the other english grounds. lords hogs all the spotlight usually and bugger all gets written about the others. appreciate you discribing the long room at trent bridge to us not fortunate enough to be able to get over to england and see it for ourselves!

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