I have been writing articles on my website ( Stumpchat.com) and on my FB page on Indian traditional test cricket grounds viz., Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Bengaluru & Mohali and they were appreciated by and commented upon by my friends and relatives. It has inspired me to write on Cricket grounds of other countries here.
Hence, I am going to write about the traditional cricket grounds of the United Kingdom, the birthplace of the game. To start with, Lord’s , the game’s headquarters till 2005, has been chosen for my writing.
Sachin Tendulkar: “As a kid you have big dreams and one of them was playing at Lord’s. It is extremely special to play here. So there are a lot of fond memories, and one would definitely want to make the most of the outing here .
RETRO LIVE : It was a D-day for Indian cricket. It was the World cup Finals on 25th June, 1983 between the “invincibles” West Indies and the “Dark Horse” India. India was defending a paltry 183 runs in the 60 overs match. Everyone has written off India as “ Pushovers” as their world cup woes in the previous editions were indicators.
And Kapil Dev’s men were not distraught. In fact they believed in themselves they could upset the apple cart of West Indies juggernaut . Kapil led from the front by marshalling his forces to the best of their abilities.
Kapil ran backwards in midwicket position quite long to catch a mishit of the West Indies marauder Viv Richards and the rest is history.
A beaming Kapil Dev holding aloft the coveted Prudential WORLD CUP at LORD’S for the First time for India , a dream for the millions of Indian cricket fans.
Lord’s ground is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and home to Middlesex county.
Lord’s today is not on its original site; it is the third of three grounds that Lord established between 1787 and 1814.me. His first ground, now referred to as Lord’s Old Ground, was where Dorset Square now stands. His second ground, Lord’s Middle Ground, was used from 1811 to 1813 before being abandoned to make way for the construction through its outfield of the Regent’s Canal. The present Lord’s ground is about 250 yards (230 m) north-west of the site of the Middle Ground.
Lord’s with its rich history of 200 years is considered the “Mecca of Cricket” as Thomas Lord founded the world’s most celebrated cricket ground in 1814. A tile with Thomas Lord’s profile in relief at St. John’s Wood Tube railway station in London is seen there
The stands at Lord’s are
- Warner Stand
- Grand Stand
- Compton Stand
- Edrich Stand
- Mound Stand
- Tavern Stand
- Allen Stand (formerly the “Q Stand”)
Many of the stands were rebuilt in the late 20th century.
The main survivor from the Victorian era is the Pavilion, with its famous Long Room; this was built in 1889–90 to the designs of architect Thomas Verity. This historic landmark— a Grade II*-listed building— underwent an £8 million refurbishment programme in 2004–05. The pavilion is primarily for members of MCC, who may use its amenities, which include seats for viewing the cricket, the Long Room and its Bar, the Bowlers Bar, and a members’ shop .The Pavilion also contains the dressing rooms where players change, each of which has a small balcony for players to watch the play. In each of the two main dressing rooms are honours boards which commemorate all the centuries scored in Test matches or One Day Internationals (ODI) at Lord’s, all instances of a bowler taking five wickets in a Test or ODI innings and all occurrences of a bowler taking ten wickets in a Test match.( Source : Wikipedia).
BI CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
The ground has celebrated its Bi-centenary in 2014. And on that occasion a book titled “A portrait of Lord’s – 200 years pf cricket history” by Adam Chadwick, Lord’s ground Curator. I read this book.
Excerpts from the above Book :-
- This book “ A portrait .. “ marks the opening of a 2 year Bi-centenary Exhibition highlighting not only the “Crown of the Jewels “ of the collection, but also some of the wonderful range of research projects that have benefitted from re-cataloguing and digitisation of the last 3 years.
- Diana Rait Kerr, died aged 94 years in 2012 devised the classification scheme for the Library which is still in use today and her clear and detailed notes, ledgers and registers have formed an invaluable chronology without which it is no exaggeration to say, the heritage of Lord’s would be inexplicable. Her professional contribution, combined with gifts , involvement and interest of so many MCC members and cricket lovers along with that of her amateur predeceased Captain T.H. Carlton Levick is responsible for the survival of the rich history of Lord’s.
- There was a Fire at Lord’s ground on 29.7.1825 at Pavilion Building erected in the cricket ground near the school on St. John’s Wood Road. Lord’s suffered a financial crisis. It was the introduction of a tennis court, shower rooms & billiards tables that prompted much needed membership numbers and consequent capital
- Sir Spencer Cecil Brabazon Ponsby-Fane first played for MCC when he was just 15 years later held the posts of Treasurer and Trustee of MCC till he died at the age of 91, who laid the foundation stone of the PAVILION at Lord’s
- In the Lord’s southwest corner is Liberal Jewish Synagogue. Sabbath ( a day intended for rest) and religious worship kept by Jews from Friday evening to Saturday evening and by most christians on Sunday.
The current ground celebrated its two hundredth anniversary in 2014. To mark the occasion, on 5 July an MCC XI captained by Sachin Tendulkar played a Rest of the World XI led by Shane Warne in a 50 overs match.
BOWLER’S BAR BELL
The Big Ben ( 1.6 ton) bell was commissioned by M/s. John Warner & Sons . This bell is rung by a visiting dignitary every day at the start of a Test match.
VAUXHALL PLEASURE GARDENS
This garden also known as Spring Gardens were opened by the Tyers family in 1661 and reached the height of their popularity in the early 1800s with 20,000 people visiting on one night in 1826. Their winning formula combined with music, illuminated fountains, fireworks and light refreshments in an Eden-like atmosphere. The gardens originally combined genteel areas where orchestras played and visitors promenaded in their finery and “dark walks” where couples could enjoy each other’s company in some privacy, if not in comfort.
The Lord’s grounds are home to the Marylebone Cricket Club’s museum; the collection housed here was begun in 1864, while the museum itself was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1953. The museum boasts one of the world’s most celebrated collections of cricket memorabilia, and spans the entire history of the game from its emergence in the 18th century right through to the present.
- The original Ashes urn, a tiny (it’s only six inches long)
- various uniforms, bats and pieces of kit belonging to history’s greatest players, in particular W.G. Grace, widely accredited as the best cricketer of all time. Grace’s belts, boots, caps, travelling bags, the manuscript of his book “Cricket”.
- India’s Suni Gavaskar also donated his “skull cap” (helmet) and Brian Lara also donated his helmet.
- Victor Trumper (Australia)’s cap, blazer & pads were donated to MCC by his wife.
- R.E. Foster, nicknamed “Tip Foster” Captained England both in Cricket and Football also donated his bat.
- An Aboriginal war club ( like a bat) Dici-a-Dick on the Australian ( first tour) tour to England in 1868 is also available in Lord’s museum.
- Baggy green caps used by Don Bradman & Keith Miller
- “Warsop” bat used by Denis Compton
- Wartime bats