Olympics at Lord's March 20, 2010

Lord's want two Tests during Olympic summer

Cricinfo staff

Keith Bradshaw, the MCC chief executive, has said there won't be any reduction in the amount of international cricket staged at Lord's during the Olympic summer in 2012 despite the ground being used as the venue for archery during the two-week showpiece.

The Olympics will be staged from July 27 to August 12 and Lord's will be taken over for a period of about a month from early July by organisers. However, MCC are still aiming to host two Test matches during the season after Bradshaw confirmed they were bidding for a West Indies game to go alongside a Test against South Africa and three ODIs.

The South Africa Test will be played after the Olympics once the ground has been returned to MCC following the Olympics. Meanwhile Middlesex will play their home matches at various outgrounds including Southgate and Uxbridge while Lord's is unavailable.

"There is no impact for us financially," Bradshaw said. "We have an England v South Africa Test and once we have rehabilitation of the ground and turf [after the Olympics] that will be done.

"At the moment we have one Test and three one-day internationals in 2012, but there are other matches that have just come out for tender which we will be bidding for such as a West Indies match. Having archery here at Lord's will have no impact on the schedule."

However, although MCC are confident in their position the Olympics will have a significant impact on the cricket schedule for the 2012 season. No competing international events can be staged in cities hosting Games events, which means the ECB will have a limited number of venues to choose from during the period.

Npower, who sponsor Test series in England, have said they may reconsider their commitment because of the impact of the Olympics on their exposure in cricket during the 2012 summer.

"We're not clear about what will actually happen in 2012 in terms of fixtures during the Olympics in London, as it is a July and August event," said marketing director Kevin Peake. "That's why we're sponsoring to the end of next season, rather than until 2012.

"Our understanding is that no other sporting event is allowed to happen in London during that period. Cricket is a summer sport, that's the thing. You buy into it and the summer of 2012 is unique."

Meanwhile, plans have been revealed for what Lord's will look like during the Games. The action will take place with the backdrop of the pavilion with the archers firing towards the nursery ground and media centre.

There will be temporary seating for 5000 spectators close to the action although it has yet to be confirmed exactly what role the pavilion will play. It may be restricted for IOC officials, competitors and organisers but could yet be opened up to the public.

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