Do you think Test cricket should only be played at Lord’s? Are you unsure about travelling to the mysterious outpost that is this so-called ‘Southampton’? Fret no more: here is our Very Rough Guide To The Rose Bowl And The Southampton Area.
1 Southampton was first discovered in 1267 by an MCC touring party.
2 In 1348, the port of Southampton was responsible for introducing the Black Death into England. Years later, the Rose Bowl was among the earliest grounds to really embrace Twenty20 cricket, an arguably even more virulent plague.
3 The town slogan is Southampton: Gateway To Bognor Regis. This is because Portsmouth is even worse.
4 The major industries of the Southampton area are petrochemicals, finance, pharmaceuticals and the Mark Nicholas Fan Club (sole proprietor, secretary and president-for-life, Mark Nicholas).
5 Despite claims that Hampshire has taken on a big financial burden with the £35million development of the ground, chairman Rod Bransgrove has insisted that there are contingencies in place if the club need to liquidate cash fast, understood to be a plan to break Dominic Cork into his component parts and sell him at auction.
6 A large woodland near the Rose Bowl was flattened by a clash of egos involving Kevin Pietersen and Shane Warne in 2007.
7 Southampton is twinned with Le Havre in France, Quingdao in China and, most recently, Poland’s Kalisz. The Polish town was named after South Africa’s unflappable allrounder, who is worshipped by the famously dour inhabitants as something like a god. Over 93% of adult males in Kalisz have had a hair transplant.
8 Southampton was the departure point of The Mayflower, upon which the Founding Fathers voyaged to America. They had terrible problems with the traffic around the Rose Bowl.
9 To this day, concerns persist about traffic congestion as thousands of people try to leave the Test ground all at once, and there are serious worries about total gridlock if Jonathan Trott gets in for a really long dig.
10 A previous major launch in Southampton was that of the Titanic. There were no problems selling tickets for that debut, which just goes to show that all that glitters is not gold.
By Alan Tyers. CrickiLeaks: The Secret Ashes Diaries by Tyers and Beach is out now. See here