England players took the train or the more commonly known The Underground tube to get to the The Oval for the third day’s play of the third Test against South Africa. In a move to probably get back to the roots and connect with the fans, some members of the England team took the train to bridge the gap with many sports getting alienated from their audience amid rising salaries and fat pay cheques.
England captain Joe Root, Stuart Broad, James Anderson were the prominent faces who stood at the Bank station to take the tube to Kennington Station. One of the social media images shared by the pack included an advertising hoarding of Sky Sports – the official broadcaster for many sports in the UK including cricket – with the Broad’s face. The England seamer too posted an image of the team on his Instagram account.
The two teams come into the third Test with the series locked at 1-1. England had won the first Test by 211 runs to give Root a winning start in his captaincy role. But South Africa got their act right with the return of skipper Faf du Plessis. Proteas won the second Test by a massive 340 runs. In the third Test, England once again regained the momentum. After scoring 353 runs first, the visitors were bowled out for 175 runs. This gave England a significant 178 run lead. In reply, England stood 20/0 at the Lunch break.
But before they could get their day’s act underway, the England players got out their Oyster cards and hopped on aboard the public transport which is ridden by thousands on a daily basis.
This isn’t the first time a sports star has taken public transport. Following his move to New York Red Bulls, Frenchman Thierry Henry rode the subway on his debut amid euphoria for a few. And then four years later, in 2014, Arsenal players too took the subway in New York City on their pre-season tour of the United States.
“It was the quickest way to come to the game,” said Henry. “It was quite an experience. It was cool. It was amazing to see the fans and walk with them to the stadium. I’d say that the reception was tremendous.
“[The crowd was great] every time I touched the ball, when I came out and when I scored. It was important for me to feel at home.”
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