August 4, 1975 – When the Lord’s spot a streaker during a Test match

August 4, 1975 – When the Lord’s spot a streaker during a Test match

England and Australia faced off at the Lord's in 1975 as part of the Ashes series.

Streaker
Streaker. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Australia toured England for a 4-match Ashes series in 1975 after winning at home by 4-1 margin in 1974-75 season. England was under pressure as they had not won the Ashes at home since the 2-1 victory in 1956. The history seemed to repeat for Australia who took an early lead by thumping the hosts in the first Test at Edgbaston by a margin of an innings and 85 runs.

The series moved to Lord’s where Dennis Lillee’s 4-wicket haul left England reeling at 49/4 after they elected to bat first. But the English skipper Tony Greig smashed 96 from only 129 balls with 15 fours while Alan Knott (69) and David Steele (50) struck fifties. Their contributions led the hosts 315 in their first innings. Australia’s innings was somewhat similar to that of England as they were reduced to 81/7 by John Snow’s 4-wicket haul.

Ross Edwards replicated Greig’s innings scoring 99 from 132 balls with 15 boundaries while Lillee smashed three sixes and eight fours on his way to an unbeaten 103-ball 73. The two knocks powered Australia to 268 which narrowed down the first innings deficit to 47 runs. The pitch became better to bat from 2nd day afternoon as England hit big during their second essay.

A first at the Lord’s which wasn’t needed!

Opener John Edrich spent 528 minutes at the crease scoring 175 off 420 balls and helped the hosts make reach 387/6 before he was dismissed. England was one run away from getting to 400-run mark with Alan Knott and Bob Woolmer at the crease. At this stage, everyone at the Lord’s got stunned with what was happening on the field. Michael Angelow, a 24-year-old, invaded the playing area without wearing any clothes.

Angelow was a Merchant Navy Cook but at 3:20 PM on 4th August at the Lord’s, he became the first streaker to interrupt a cricket match at the Lord’s. Prior to Angelow, England never witnessed a streaker interrupting a Test match. However, it was the 2nd instance of a Test match being interrupted by a streaker. The other such occasion was recorded during a Test match in Auckland between New Zealand and Australia in March 1974.

A winning bet that went in vain!

Michael Angelow jumped over the stumps on the non-strikers’ end before he was forced out of the field. It was revealed that Angelow had a bet (£10) about being a streaker during the match. However, he was fined by the court (£10) exactly the same amount that he won for going nude at the Lord’s. The interruption Angelow caused didn’t last long as England declared their innings on 436/7 to set a target of 484 to the Australians.

Four of the five batters who took the crease for Aussies scored fifties as they reached 329/3 in 109 overs by last hour on the final day’s play. Both the teams agreed for a draw as no result was possible. The following two matches were closely contested ones but both ended in a draw. With that, Australia took the series 1-0 and extended their supremacy on England soil against the home team.