The game was England v Sri Lanka, the location was The Kia Oval and contrary to recent damp conditions, the weather gods answered our calls for a dry day!
England were on the cusp of claiming an ODI series victory against Sri Lanka and most importantly, the one and only Green Room returned to The Kia Oval after nearly two years away.
We never thought it would be so long in between Green Rooms and to say we were delighted to welcome our guests back through the doors is a huge understatement. And what a return it was! The freshly redesigned Green Room at The Kia Oval looked fantastic, and guests were welcomed with the obligatory glass of Champagne and something a little new for The Green Room…specially designed summer cocktails delivered with flair by our small team of expert mixologists.
As the drinks flowed freely and guests got into The Green Room mood, our legendary cricket ambassadors Darren Gough MBE and Michael Vaughan were OBE accompanied to the stage by the former England fast bowler Steve Harmison. The voice of The Green Room Mark Durden-Smith was his usual cheeky self, and the days entertainment began in earnest as the banter began and the laughs echoed around the room. England legends Alec Stewart and Graham Gooch even dropped by to say hello. With guests suitably entertained, it was time for lunch – a sumptuous 3-course meal featuring delectable delights such as pastrami-styled cured salmon, sirloin of beef locally sourced at Surrey Hills Farm and a refreshing strawberry sorbet with burnt English custard.
Enjoying The Green Room experience were none other than comedian Romesh Ranganathan, former tennis star Greg Rusedski, MasterChef host Greg Wallace and 2007 Rugby World Cup winning Springbok Bobby Skinstad and what a treat they were served up both on and off the field! With bellies filled and glasses charged, it was time to watch the world champions in ODI action against Sri Lanka. England won the toss, elected to bowl, and made Sri Lanka pay with four early wickets, reducing the visitors to just 21-4 inside the first seven overs. Dhananjaya de Silva top scored for Sri Lanka with a hard fought 91 but the tourists ended their 50 overs with only 241 on the board, with England’s Sam Curran taking a wonderful five wicket haul.
Half time in the cricket meant a sumptuous selection of afternoon tea nibbles and more merriment amongst the guests, with everyone clearly enjoying their release from the grasp of lockdown. Being part of such a celebratory social occasion made for a fantastic atmosphere in The Green Room and even the likes of SkySports’ Laura Woods and Love Island’s Frankie Foster popped in to see what all the fuss about. The ambassadors then took to the stage again for one-final time and after a bit more fun and their predictions for the England innings, guests flocked back out to their seats to watch England bat.
The England innings began well with Jason Roy scoring 60 and England taking full control of the match. Despite the departure of Jonny Bairstow for 29, a magnificent partnership between Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan saw England home. With Root and Morgan scoring 68 and 75 respectively, the action was finished with England claiming a brilliant series victory over Sri Lanka.
Revelry in The Green Room however continued later into the evening, with guests soaking up the opportunity to socialise and enjoying some rather tasty post-match snacks before heading off into the London night having experienced a day’s entertainment at the cricket unlike anywhere else. It’s been a long time since we were able to do what we do best, and we can only hope our guests enjoyed their experience as much as we did provide it for them. Bring on the England v India Test Match – we can’t wait to be back in September!