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MCC reveals Lord's Masterplan

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 1, 2013

Comments: 10 | Text size: A | A

Gatting to be MCC president

  • Mike Gatting, the former England captain, will become the next president of MCC when he takes over from Mike Griffith on October 1.
  • Gatting, who played 79 Tests, retired from first-class cricket in 1998 having hit more than 36,500 first-class runs at an average of 49.52 and is now Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships at ECB.

  • "Few people are so closely identified with Lord's as Mike Gatting," Griffith said. "He made Lord's his home for Middlesex, and made more appearances for the county than any other player. He was an excellent and a particularly brave batsman for England, and he has continued to serve cricket with a dedication and passion that is unstinting for both ECB and MCC.

  • "Mike's absolute priority is the good of cricket - he cares for and thinks deeply about the game. He has already done so much for MCC and Middlesex - it is fitting that someone of his cricketing stature should be president during this great ground's Bicentenary in 2014."

The MCC has revealed a 15-year Masterplan for the development of Lord's to maintain the ground's status as the finest in the world and to secure two Test matches and two ODIs every year.

The project, compiled by the MCC Ground Working Party and publicised to members at the club's AGM, will cost up to £200 million, begin in 2014 will the final phase schedule to get underway in 2027.

The development will see the capacity increase by 2,700 with the Warner, Tavern, Allen, Compton and Edrich stands rebuilt and the pavilion extended. A new entrance will be created on Grove End Road behind the pavilion, which will supersede the Grace Gates as the member's entrance, and the existing entrances will be upgraded to better cater for large attendances.

The new stands, Grove End Road entrance and new Thomas Lord building will be completed by 2017 and be funded by current MCC resources. The development will pause in 2019 when England host the World Cup before continuing with the rebuilding of the Compton and Edrich Stands and work on the Nursery Ground - a new food street, ECB offices and the removal of the Nursery pavilion to move the playing area towards Wellington Road.

"This Masterplan has cricket at its heart," MCC president Mike Griffith said. "Every MCC Member cares deeply for our wonderful ground and we have a duty to ensure any changes made to Lord's reflect the love we have for cricket, its history and its heritage. This Masterplan will reinforce the special place the ground has within the game by making it even better for every player and spectator who comes here."

Colin Maber, the chairman of MCC's Ground Working Party and Estates committee, added: "The Masterplan has been designed to provide a framework within which Ground development over the next 15 years can be set.

"The phased approach allows room for flexibility and evolution. Our key principles - on the absolute need to retain the size of both grounds, on keeping Lord's as a Ground rather than making it a stadium, on the importance of green open spaces, and on enhancing the experience for every visitor - will underpin all we do. It is advanced work in progress, but can be flexed to reflect changing economic circumstances, technology and research."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 2, 2013, 11:01 GMT)

@John-Price - I agree about the Tavern stand. It could be improved (like everything in life), but I also would have thought the Allen, Warner and particualrly the Edrich and Compton stands were a far higher priority. Personally, I wouldn't touch the Tavern stand (except to possibly extend it over where the Allen stand is) until most of these other things had been done.

Some of the seats in the Edrich and Compton stands offer a surprisingly poor view. I suppose it allows for a different pricing structure, but IMHO to be able to genuinely claim to have a top class venue, every seat should get an uninterrupted view of the entire playing field.

Posted by John-Price on (May 2, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

For all the money to be spent, this is really a proposal to upgrade within the current ethos and style of the ground rather than a transformation. Indeed, a lot of money is going in in peripheral facilities such as offices, the museum, entrance gates, entertainment suites and refreshment stalls.

To me, the biggest disappointments are the tiny increase in the number of seats and the fact that the replacement of the unsatisfactory Edrich and Compton stands is lower priority than the Tavern Stand, which is a bit plain, but still fit for purpose.

Posted by AshesErnie on (May 2, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

wgtnpom - there was no suggestion at all from me of creating the monolith you portray. Quite simply that an increase of 2,700 capacity doesn't address the main issue. A lovely cricket ground indeed, but if you need to wait 22 years for membership or pay corporate rates to get in, for many there is no point.

Posted by   on (May 1, 2013, 22:46 GMT)

@wgtnpom - couldn't have said it better myself! I miss sitting on the grassy bank at the Basin.

A fellow Wellington 'Pom'.

Posted by wgtnpom on (May 1, 2013, 22:33 GMT)

Aussies may scoff at the smallness of English grounds but that's the whole point - they are GROUNDS not STADIA. Lord's is my favourite sporting venue in the whole world precisely because it isn't a vast soulless concrete edifice that's just a temple to the commercialism of modern sport. I suspect cricketers from all over the world think the same - that's why so many of them say publicly how much they love playing there. Wellington's Basin Reserve is similar. Trying to turn Lord's into the MCG would be vandalism of the worst kind. I like the MCG as well but cricket needs a ground like Lord's as its major iconic venue. Cricket is not Aussie Rules. There is an issue around too many ignorant corporate types at the biggest games but that wouldn't be solved by building an ugly concrete monolith.

Posted by AshesErnie on (May 1, 2013, 21:18 GMT)

MCC have produced a thorough plan that takes account of all the peripheral aspects of being the world's best 21st century cricket ground. The 36 minute Youtube film explaining it all is excellent.

However, if the ground still only takes 32,000 after all the work, they will have failed to address the biggest single problem Lord's has - that it is perennially over-subscribed for major matches, brim full of (often ignorant) corporates and many genuine cricket fans simply can't get a ticket.

The Aussies laugh out loud when they hear about our ground capacities. They stop laughing when they realize it means they can't get in to Ashes Tests, though they probably won't want to this year.

Posted by   on (May 1, 2013, 20:17 GMT)

I know it's traditional, and believe me I'm a big one for tradition, but I do wish the MCC/Middlesex would follow what Surrey at the Oval is doing and replace the long benches in the Lord's Members' Pavilion with padded seating!

Posted by   on (May 1, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

@cabinet96 - I think the last paragraph addresses your question. Hopefully the last thing most people want is to turn it into 'just another big stadium'.

I'm glad the Allen, Warner, Compton and Edrich stands are being rebuilt (albeit detailed designs yet to be seen). Bit surprised about the Tavern though. I hope EVERY seat in the rebuilt stands will have an uninterrupted view of the whole playing field.

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (May 1, 2013, 20:04 GMT)

Lords is a special place to watch cricket. That said, I enjoy the Oval more.

Posted by cabinet96 on (May 1, 2013, 19:22 GMT)

A whole master plan and it only increases the capacity 2,700? I.e. less than a 10% increase. Seems a tad pointless to me. If they're going to redevelop the stands they should try and increase it by at least 10,000 surely?

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