When Ashton met Her Majesty
Youngster recalls 'career highlight' at Lord's
9 June 2014, 01:39 PM AEST
He’s only played two Test matches in his brief career to date, but in that time, Ashton Agar enjoyed a moment that others – particularly the royally inclined – can only dream about.
No, we’re not talking about his remarkable 98 on debut when, for a few hours, he was the undisputed King of Nottingham.
The time came moments before his second Test, at Lord’s, the oft-described ‘home of cricket’, when Agar met Queen Elizabeth II.
“It was probably one of the highlights of my short career so far,” the 20-year-old grinned when quizzed by cricket.com.au about the introduction.
“I was quite nervous but excited at the same time.
“We had been briefed on how to greet her. I know most of the boys were pretty nervous before it.
“We were told to shake her hand and shake it properly, because it's disrespectful if you shake her hand too lightly.
“She said, 'Good morning. This is your first time here isn't it, young man?'.
“And I said, 'Yes, it is'.
“Then she said, 'Good luck', and I said, 'Thank you'.
“That was the extent of our conversation.”
Remarkably, Agar’s meeting wasn’t the first brush with Her Majesty that his family had enjoyed.
“My mum got to meet her when she was in school back in Melbourne,” he continued.
“It's something I never thought I would get the opportunity to do.
“I suppose it is quite rare to have two from the same family meet her.
“Hopefully I will meet her again, because that would mean I'm playing in another Lord's Test.”
Agar’s recollection is a far cry from the most famous – or infamous – story concerning an Australian Test cricketer and Queen Elizabeth.
In the Centenary Test of 1977, legend has it that champion fast bowler Dennis Lillee, upon meeting Her Majesty, broke protocol by requesting an autograph.
The story goes that the Queen declined at the time, yet was kind enough to send Lillee and autographed photo some time later.
Lillee was reportedly at it again in 1981, when he met Queen Elizabeth again to receive an MBE at Buckingham Palace, this time offering the greeting: “G’day, how ya goin’?”