England fans turn to Good Book and stiff drink to settle Ashes nerves | Emma John

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Edgy spectators resort to Sunday morning visits to the church and public house as Stokes’s men test their faith to the limit

Opposite the Original Oak – the pub where many cricket fans pause for a nerve-settling pint on their way in to Headingley – stands St Michael and All Angels’ church. On Sunday its morning congregation were mostly locals, but the vicar had still prepared with cricket-lovers in mind, hiding the players’ names in his sermon. “God’s love is so Broad, the Root of our faith, it Stokes the fires …”

By mid-afternoon on Sunday, all 18,000 souls in the ground were in desperate need of fortification, be it from the Good Book or a stiff drink: only in the sporting arena do you get the chance to see so many people’s faith being simultaneously tested. The Sunday crowd, if not actually pious, were far less raucous than their predecessors, as the realisation of just how close England were to throwing away an entire Ashes series grew ever more horribly present.

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Written by Emma John at Headingley
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2023/jul/09/england-australia-headingley-ashes under the title “England fans turn to Good Book and stiff drink to settle Ashes nerves | Emma John”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.