The attractions of Edgbaston as an international cricket ground were never more obvious than on a trip to the Rose Bowl in Hampshire last week.
I'm sure many who travelled down from the Midlands can share a few horror stories.
Hampshire - and in particular, their millionaire benefactor Rod Bransgrove - have been voluble in pressing the Rose Bowl's claims for more international games in recent years. They like to represent themselves as classless outsiders pressing their noses up against the swish restaurant window of established grounds that stage Tests and one-dayers.
Well, it would be a good idea if they got the basics right. It's a handsome, modern ground, but those who aren't from the Southampton area would like to know how to find it.
Driving down the M27, there is no sign on the motorway telling you where to pull off to get to the Rose Bowl. Once you take a chance and come off at the Hedge End turn-off, there are signs for 'Rose Bowl - Park and Ride'.
Now that's not the same as driving towards the ground, as many discovered.
Once I got into the ground at 5pm - more than two hours before the start of the Twenty20 match against Sri Lanka - I steeled myself for a call of nature.
Three of the Portaloos in my immediate vicinity were out of order. For the first international of the Rose Bowl season. With thousands already inside the ground, watching England's World Cup match against Trinidad and Tobago, drinking a lot of beer in the process.
The shortage of loos obviously constituted a logistical problem, while the amount of booze consumed led to a succession of tiresome dolts running drunkenly onto the pitch as the match neared its conclusion around 10.30pm.
Because the game ended late, due to Ed Joyce's ankle injury and consequent medical attention on the outfield, plus the frequent interruptions by morons, there could be no official awards ceremony.
Local council regulations meant the floodlights had to be switched off after 10.30pm to keep nearby residents happy. So the whole event slid away anti-climactically without the paying customers hearing any of the TV interviews.
Then the real joy of the evening. In my particular car park, I managed to negotiate 100 yards in 90 minutes.
Sprung at last a long time after midnight, I passed hundreds of people waiting for the park-and-ride system to work properly.
I lost count of the number of children standing forlornly, waiting for the bus.
Lord knows what state they were in for school a few hours later on that Friday morning. How many of them will never bother again attending an international cricket match? The Rose Bowl and its drawbacks was the main topic of conversation on Saturday in the Lord's media centre.
The word is that over 1,000 poor souls were kicking their heels until as late as 2am, waiting for the park-and-ride facility to work. Some just gave up and had to walk for miles.
Now I'm all for cricket grounds outside London getting a fairer crack of the whip in securing the big games of a summer.
But Thursday's experience at the Rose Bowl was maddening and frustrating for thousands.
Forget the media's misgivings about the place. We are paid to be there, but the paying customers need to be looked after.
Those of you who have voiced criticism of Edgbaston's handling of big games should understand that some of its competitors are just beginners in comparison.
Fletcher should go back to future and pick Gough
I have a solution for England's one-day woes. Bring back Darren Gough.
At least he can bowl straight and would have been no party to the shocking tally of 23 wides at Lord's on Saturday.
He is the best exponent of reverse swing among English bowlers - something that will be vital in the World Cup nine months from now - and he would be invaluable in coaching the inexperienced ones.
Gough has always said he should play in the 2007 World Cup and the nearer we get to it, I believe he is right.
He has not been adequately replaced and there is simply no substitute for experience in the role that he would occupy - looking for early breakthroughs and bowling yorkers at the close of the innings.
Gough is second only to Ian Botham among England's combined wicket-takers in Tests and one-day internationals. He may be 35, but he is still England's best one-day bowler.
Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, keeps banging on about the need for experience in one-day internationals. Well, Gough has that coming out of his ears, plus a marvellous temperament for the big occasion.
He would relish the role of talisman, as he always did. In comparison, the young pretenders look callow and lacking in confidence.
Fletcher should also swallow his pride and admit the error in persisting with Geraint Jones as wicketkeeper/batsman ahead of Chris Read.
Just because all the England players think the world of Jones, suspecting that Read doesn't bring as much to the dressing-room, doesn't mean his place is justified or set in stone.
Jones is not playing enough decisive innings to retain his place. Read is clearly the superior wicketkeeper and his daring batting is an asset in one-day games.
Just 25 more one-dayers before the World Cup. No time to waste. England should go back in time and pick Gough and Read.
Monty still a hero
So Colin Montgomerie missed out again on a major. After 58 attempts, coming so close in the US Open must have been galling, especially in a country that doesn't value him all that highly.
It would have been one of the sports stories of the year if he'd made it, after all he's been through at 43 years of age. Just one stroke out of 286 denied him a play-off but he's right to maintain he has a major in him. For what it's worth, he is also one of the best interviewees in sport.
I wonder how many others would have talked so engagingly and thoughtfully as he did after coming so agonisingly close?
Keep an eye out for England's footballers when they go out of the World Cup. That's the level of banality and denial most sportsmen operate on. Mercifully, Montgomerie is cut from classier cloth.