April 10, 2009

England cricket

Is that a pirate at Lord's?

George Binoy

Spectators are going to be allowed to wear fancy dress at Lord’s for the first time ever during the World Twenty20 in June and some of the MCC members are not happy about it. Lord’s will relax its strict regulations on attire, in effect since the 18th century, and will join other fancy-dress friendly venues such as the Oval, Trent Bridge and Taunton.

“The Aussie guys can come with yellow wigs, the South Africans can come dressed all in green,” Steve Elworthy, the tournament director, told the Times. “We want to encourage that and we want people to have fun. If they come in a costume, that will be allowed.”

The move is aimed at attracting a younger audience and some of the old timers are bristling. “It's bloody ridiculous,” said Len Osborn, 83 and a member of MCC for more than 30 years. “They will lower the tone of the place.” He need not worry though, for once the World Twenty20 is over, Lord’s will once again not permit pirates, super heroes and fairy-tale characters through its gates.

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George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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