It is the dream of every cricket player to see or play on the LORDs Cricket ground in their life time. It is also a dream come true for media professionals like me and other cricket lovers to be there. May 2014 we went for a guided tour of the famous Lords Cricket Grounds London. On that guided tour there were 10 to 15 people from different countries. There too the Indian were more than any other country. In the guided tour there were 3 persons out of which 1 was doing commentary and other 2 were overseeing.
Pavilion: At the start of the tour they told us the history of the ashes. Then took us inside the pavilion beginning with the committee room where the meetings are conducted of MCC members and explained the history of the ground. They showed the dressing rooms of the visiting and home teams. They showed the place where the records of bowlers who took 5 wickets each or more and the batsmen who scored the highest individual scores at that ground were displayed on the honor’s board. They showed us where some of the popular players sit in the respective dressing room. In the Indian contexts common place of Gavaskar, Sachin and Ganguly were identified. They showed the gallery where Kapil Dev had lifted the 1983 world cup and Ganguly had took off his shirt after winning the NatWest series in 2006.
Pitches: Coming out of the pavilion we were seated in left side gallery and informed that The Lords ground has 18 pitches, of which central 6 are used for international matches, and others for county matches.
The Stadium: The guide told the capacity of the ground which is 30,000 and will increase to 40,000 next year. He also mentioned the names of the some great players like Sachin, Shane Warne, WC Grace etc. on whose names pavilion sections are named. It was an amazing experience which I will never forget and will cherish for the entire life. They took us to the media centre from where the commentators both TV and Radio occupy and the print media persons sit .It was a pleasure to click to photos from that height. There are 4 gates to enter from to the stadium.
Media Center: As media professional and a cricket fan what people watch on Television, looked a very immaculate stadium to cover the matches. They also showed the MCC cricket academy. The last place where the tour ended was the ground view from media center.
The shop had souvenirs of celebrations of Lords stadium’s 200 years of cricket, in the form of ODI colored T shirts of Indian team, Sri Lankan and England team, hats, books, shirts and other items. I got a ball and key ring as a memento.
This was a pleasant surprise as I had never thought in my dreams that on a day I would be at the ground in person.
I wish that the BCCI and state Government take initiatives of organizing such guided tours in popular grounds in India so that youngsters can know more about history of their grounds and cricket.