Style rangers in the rain

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The Independent Online

Harvey Nichols may be moving into Leeds but will Yorkshire go to Harvey Nichols? Not an impertinent question on the occasion of the 10th Test between England and West Indies at Headingley. Can metropolitan stores, mores and attitudes be transferred to the regions?

The marketing men who will direct the flow of income into cricket in the next 25 years need to know. Headingley has a pounds 30m facelift planned and Leeds, according to Kensington sources, is already awash with cash.

Any Sloane Ranger here yesterday would have noted that Leeds in June can look remarkably like Leeds in mid- February: woollies, raincoats and wax jackets abounded, but not too many Barbours. The electronic switchboard advertised, during the frequent stoppages for rain, that the sunburn forecast was for no more than 20 to 30 minutes' exposure. Those struggling to keep warm did look slightly stupefied to read this but were probably grateful that the scoreboard was at least working.

The performers did their best, and what cricket was seen was Kensington value. Mike Atherton, a natural client, Harvey Nicks would hope, praised both his batsmen and West Indies' bowlers, and admitted: "My gut reaction was to bat but you never know whether you are right or wrong here. The pitch is pacier than expected but there is moisture underneath and if it's warmer tomorrow the ball might swing. It was disappointing to lose two late wickets but it's now up to the two blokes in and our all-rounders".

Our Sloane Ranger could hardly console herself, Tyke-wise, with fish and chips and a pint of Tetley's, but would have headed off towards Harrogate or Ilkley, where presumably most of Harvey Nichols' new customers will live, perhaps for a Harvey Wallbanger. As for the marketing men, any native of Chapeltown will tell you that what Manchester thinks today, London thinks tomorrow and Leeds thought of last week.