ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: London’s bars all stocked up to cater to World Cup rush
Booze and cricket are two significant parts of the British culture. And as the Cricket World Cup action began in the city, restaurants, pubs and clubs across the capital hope to cash in on the euphoria surrounding the World Cup.
London: Booze and cricket are two significant parts of the British culture. And as the Cricket World Cup action began in the city, restaurants, pubs and clubs across the capital hope to cash in on the euphoria surrounding the World Cup.
Many will install TV screens as a backdrop to food and drinking, but others are to charge entry fees and create events around cricket matches.
Given that British sports fans are creatures of habit, most of the pubs are tipped to be sold out, specifically when England plays. Also, the fact that most of India games are over the weekends, fanatics will flock to screenings.
On an average, almost 500,000 people are expected to watch World Cup action across the UK, and London being the capital is set to be in the centre of all the action.
As expected, almost every pub in London will be showing World Cup matches.
But for a more exclusive experience, Polo Bar on Vauxhall, which has been refurbished to include a new private bar can be booked out in advance for £300 per match, including 20 beers and mid-innings meal.
There are no plans to stage “fan zone” outdoor screens, as during London 2012, because of the potential for trouble-hence fans are well and truly sticking to the traditional pubs and bars.
Cricket is big business at the Pembridge pub in Paddington, West London. The owner of the Pembridge Bar, David Sutton said: “ Previously this pub didn’t cater for sports fans, so being able to show top-quality sporting action is an excellent way of driving business.”
Pushing tradition aside
“The way we show sport is far more different from the old, traditional manner with a dusty TV screen over the door that no one can really see. We use state-of-art technology and all our screens are Ultra HD screens, with three sound zones. We try and offer our customers a perfect way to watch sport,” Sutton further added.
Some of the best-known venues on London, such as the Coronet in Elephant & Castle—the heart of London’s Latin quarter—are showing the games, many with past-cricketers in attendance.
Given how close the pub is to the Oval cricket ground, it’s days hinge on the fact that cricket fans will fill it to the brim is a given.
Mike Ashley, the bartender here, recalls how the English cricket fans bid farewell to their captain from here.
“Alastair Cook’s farewell in last summer’s final Test against India at the Oval, was so special. You couldn’t have written the script any better. Our customers were willing him on to get that milestone hundred. It was emotional,” he recollects.
There are many anecdotes which revolve around the pubs and is a part of Britain’s popular culture. One must visit it to live it.