We sent Minimasters Khadim, 7, Aamina, 9, Daniyal, 7, and Zayna, 4, to enjoy two days of amazing cricketing action at Manchester’s Emirates Old Trafford as England took on Pakistan in the Investec Test Match.
Here’s what they got up to:
Sunday 24 July 2016 – Khadim and Aamina
We arrived extra early to enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the media suite at Emirates Old Trafford, where we got to see where all the TV crews broadcast from during the match. The press area offered us an awesome view of the pitch and our mum cheekily knocked on the door of the Sky Sports TV room where Nasser Hussain invited us in for a chat and a look at how things work up close – we also got to meet cricketing legend Mike Atherton.
We then got to watch the cricketers warm up in the nets and managed to take selfies with lots of the stars of the England team; they were really friendly and happily signed autographs for us. Next we went on the actual pitch and got to experience how huge Emirates Old Trafford really is – this was great fun and we even met Shane Warne, Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali, too!
The rehearsals for the Guard of Honour were nerve-wracking. We had to make sure we unfurled our flags at just the right time and didn’t block any of the players, but we felt like stars during the real thing – there was music for our entrance and our names were announced on the loudspeaker! The England team arrived on the pitch, walking through our Guard of Honour; we both think it’s the most amazing thing we’ve ever done and Sky TV were broadcasting it live as well!
All this and the day was just beginning! The test match began with England playing on top form. Rain stopped play for a while but it didn’t matter, there was so much to see and do around the stadium it felt like a mini festival. There were many different food venues and games for younger spectators.
Our family had an epic day out: this was our first national cricket event and we have to say we are hooked!
Thanks Minimasters! From Khadim and Aamina!
Monday 23 July 2016 – Danyal and Zayna
We managed to take loads of pictures in the press room, commentators’ room and on the press balcony: the view of the pitch was amazing and we tried to go through every door we could, although we weren’t allowed in some because broadcasts were happening on the other side!
We then went out to the pitch to watch some of the England players practice bowling. It was great to see them in the nets and practicing their techniques – they were really fast! We were then given the opportunity to take part in the Guard of Honour. Only I took part in the end because Zayna was too nervous and shy, but it didn’t matter, it was fine to just watch.
I loved my time on the pitch. It was like nothing I’d ever done before and I felt very proud holding the flag up and seeing the England players run through onto the pitch. It was definitely the highlight of the day!
After the match had started and we’d watch the game for a little while, we went to explore the stadium some more. There were loads of things to do and we really enjoyed some of the mini games on offer in the stands, including bowling, catching ball, and throwing hoops. I was really pleased about my bowling speed when I was given a card with my speed on it (11.8).
Zayna said she was very good at throwing the hoops and got them all on. The lady was so shocked and we all found out that Zayna could actually throw very well, which was cool.
I was really good at bouncing the ball on the net and catching it. I got 25 out of 30 and was really pleased! It was great to have the opportunity to play and practice our cricketing skills – we even bought a cricket ball so I can continue to practice my catching skills and Zayna got a bat and ball set.
The atmosphere inside the stadium was great. It was really cool to see how far the England players could hit the ball, especially when they scored a six!
It was a really busy day but loads of fun and we loved learning new facts about cricket, seeing the press areas and playing the mini games!
Overall it was a great family day, and we’d definitely go again.
Thanks Minimasters! From Dani and Zayna!
Tickets for remaining fixtures this summer are available right here.