From Tiger King to bananas - England cricket fans turn out in force for first time since pandemic

For over a year, English cricket fans were forced to watch their team from home, as Covid-19 ran rampant around the country.

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England cricket fans were finally able to sing together for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Source: Supplied

But last night, at the opening day of the second Test between England and New Zealand, they were back in full force, reminding the world just how much fans contribute to the atmosphere of sport.

Around 18,000 fans were packed into the Birmingham ground, as the UK experienced one of its largest sporting crowds since the pandemic began.

The current Test allows the stadium to be at 70 per cent capacity each of the five days, as part of a trial system run by the British government for the return of crowds to major events.

A fan dressed as England football manager Gareth Southgate keeps the crowd alive on the first day of the second Test between England and New Zealand at Edgbaston. Source: Getty

The fans, cooped up in their homes for so long, showed up in force, uniting as one in a party-like atmosphere not seen at a British cricket ground since the 2019 Ashes series.

There were costumes aplenty, from Tiger King to cavemen, Gareth Southgate to Boris Johnson, bananas to The Flintstones.

A fan dressed as Joe Exotic from Netflix series Tiger King raises a glass on the opening day of the second Test at Edgbaston. Source: Getty

Rory Burns and Dan Lawrence struck half-centuries as England reached 258-7 at the end of the opening day.

The wickets were shared amongst the New Zealand bowlers. Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Ajaz Patel all took two wickets apiece, while Neil Wagner snared one.

"It was brilliant. The Hollies Stand is impressive, as good as it gets definitely in this country and possibly in world cricket. The atmosphere was brilliant," Burns said.

"The Hollies Stand was just electric all day," Kiwi pace bowler Henry said.

"They were phenomenal, you can see the excitement of everyone getting back into cricket and into stadiums. It was some impressive energy."