Cricket fans enjoy ‘inspirational’ Ashes all-nighter at Home of Cricket

They came wide-eyed, left bleary-eyed but happy knowing they had made a little bit of Ashes history. Fifty passionate cricket fans watched the first day of the Ashes with the Ashes urn overnight at Lord’s.

‘Yorkshire Tea’s Night at the Museum’ was the ultimate Ashes party and the England team – and a fired-up Stuart Broad – gave their die-hard fans something to celebrate.

The special night started with a tour of the players’ dressing rooms in the Lord’s Pavilion, followed by an intimate Q&A with Ashes legend Steve Harmison. The former England fast bowler gave guests a unique insight into how it feels to play in an Ashes series and what England could expect when they walked out onto the pitch at The Gabba.

Guests paid tribute to Kevin Pietersen’s 100th Test by donning KP masks and MC for the night Ed Giddins warmed up the crowd; while sponsors Yorkshire Tea fueled guests with much-needed cups of tea.

The film theatre was crackling with excitement by the time the first ball was bowled at midnight and the audience erupted when Broad took his first wicket. The party had well and truly started!

Action on the pitch gripped the hardy souls who made it through the night, each wicket acting as an extra caffeine hit. A handful of guests took strategic power naps around the Museum, some beneath the famous Ashes urn itself, but most fans lasted for the duration.

Fans like Pam Nash who had traveled down from Lancashire earlier in the day. Speaking at the end of play, she said, “It’s been inspirational to be here and an absolute privilege. If you’re not in Australia, you couldn’t be a cricket fan and not want to be here. It’s been great to raise money and awareness for Chance to Shine as well.”

Fourteen year old Ben Jackson, a pupil at Northampton School for Boys, also pulled an all-nighter with his dad to experience the Night at the Museum. When asked why he said, “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Only 50 people were able to come and it’s been amazing to be part of it. It’s one thing to watch the Ashes and another to watch it from the Home of Cricket.”

Steve Harmison was in agreement that it was a great evening, saying, “To watch The Ashes in the museum of the Home of Cricket, Lord’s, there are some special privileged people who have got this chance. They probably won’t realise what they done until tea time tomorrow when they’ve woken up. To watch the first day of the Ashes in the museum, not many people in the history of the game have done that.”

He also praised Chance to Shine, commenting, “Chance to Shine is a monumental charity that helps children it all walks of life, making cricket accessible to people. The more awareness it gets in sport and the media, it can only help to enhance what kids can aspire to: to play cricket at the highest level at Lord’s.”

Tickets for the event had sold out in a matter of hours a fortnight ago with all proceeds going to Chance to Shine. The lucky ticket-holders made their pilgrimage to the Home of Cricket from all over the country, from as far as Edinburgh.

Stephen Whiston, who was on his way to work when he read about the event got off the tube two stops early to make sure he bagged his tickets. And according to him it was well worth it:

“I’ve been to cricket for years but never to something like this. Chance to Shine, MCC and Yorkshire Tea have conjured up an event that we’ll never forget!”

All donations to Chance to Shine will be doubled during the Ashes.


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