The Lord’s Cricket Ground, or simply Lord’s, was established back in 1814 by Thomas Lord. The ground is located in England at St. John’s Wood, London. Currently it is owned by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The Lord’s current tenants are the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the Middlesex County Cricket Club, the European Cricket Club (ECC) and the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Thomas Lord established three cricket grounds between 1787 and 1814. The first ground, Lord’s Old Ground, was where today’s Dorset Square stands. Lord’s Middle Ground, his second venture, was replaced by Regent’s canal. The last one still stands as the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The ground consists of 9 stands and can accommodate up to 32,000 spectators. The Pavilion, Warner Stand, Compton Stand, Media Center, Edrich Stand, Mound Stand, Tavern Stand and Allen Stand. The most inimitable fact about the Lord’s cricket field is that it is sloped. The south-west side of the ground stands about 8 feet lower than the north-west side. This characteristic feature provides deviation to the bouncing ball.
In honor of W. G. Grace, 2 ornamental gates designed by Sir Hebert Baker were erected at the St. John Wood Road entrance of the ground. The floodlights installed at the ground are specially designed to reduce light pollution. The Westminister Council gave permission to use these lights on the condition that they must be dimmed to half-strength at 9:30 pm and completely turned off at 11 pm. The floodlights went for their first successful trial on 27th may 2009, for the Twenty-Twenty Match between Kent and Middlesex.
The Lord’s hosts One Day International matches, Test matches, MCC matches, some Middlesex Twenty-Twenty matches and some Middlesex home matches. Lord’s hosts the National Village Cricket Competition finals, the Friends Provident Trophy and the MCC University Challenge tournaments. The oldest permanent arrangement is of the Eton vs. Harrow matches which are played annually since 1805.
Besides cricket, Lord’s is also known for the MCC museum, the oldest cricket museum in the world. The Ashes are permanently kept at the MCC museum. Various items are at display here including items used by W. G. Grace, Cricket kits used by famous players like Don Bradman, Victor Trumper, curious collectables like a stuffed sparrow who was the victim of Jahangir Khan of Cambridge University while he delivered a ball to T. N. Pearce. The museum is open for visitors on tour of the ground and also can be viewed on match-days.
The first test match to be played at Lord’s was in 1884 between England and Australia. The first one-day international match was not played on the ground until 1972, which was again between England and Australia. 2 test matches are played at Lord’s every summer, one for each visiting team. But the ECB are planning to limit this to one test annually. Further development plans for the ground include an ice rink, and increasing the seating capacity to accommodate another 10,000 people.
The only other sport that was played at Lord’s was a baseball match between an American team and a Canadian team. The match was on behalf of a fund raising promotion during the Great War for the Canadian Widows and Orphans Fund.