Lords Cricket Ground is a deeply traditional sporting arena and on a recent visit to the UK – I was fortunate enough to experience it first hand.
Besides being historic – it also has a number of quirks that you may or may not know.
Here’s a list of just a couple of them.
1. The ground is sloped
Known as the Lord’s Slope – yes it has it’s own name – the slope is located toward the North end of the pavilion and has been there since the very beginning. Despite calls for it be levelled it has since become a factor that participants use to their advantage.
2. The media section
Know that weird uber modern capsule that defines the Lords skyline? That was built for the media contingent.
3. Limited amounts of alcohol can be brought into the pavilion
Yup, of all the places in the world – Lords allows visitors to bring in a limited amount of their choose of booze and despite fairly recent efforts to try and outlaw it it is still allowed.
4. Team balconies are tiny
Each changing room has a balcony overlooking the majestic ground but they could probably only accommodate 4 people at once. At a squeeze. They are surprisingly tiny and more than likely relegate players to catching the action from a window or on the telly.
5. Change rooms always show the cricket
Each changing room has a mega TV airing the game but it’s always on mute. Can’t imagine someone like Pietersen or Vaughn would’ve been too keen to hear the colour commentary after getting dismissed.
6. The home team each have their own seat in the changing room
Every time England turn out at Lords – the players have the same seat. Except Kevin Pietersen (above)- who had a 3 seats to his name.
7. Home and away changing rooms have records on the wall
Each changing room has a couple of boards – one dedicated to all players who have scored a ton and another to those who have taken a five for. So a solid performance can literally get you record immortality. Graeme Smith is still featured prominently at the entrance for his 259 – the highest score by a foreigner at the ground.
8. The long room
One of the primary perks of being a member of the Lord’s cricket ground is access to “the long room”. Upon walking into the room you can just feel the tradition and on game day – players from both sides have to pass directly through the room and tables full of members – on their way to the middle. As you can imagine this must fill a visiting player that has just given his wicket away with dread. Justin Langer claimed passing through the room was like being “bearhugged by an invisible spirit”. Awkward
9. Becoming a member of the club requires patience
According to our tour guide – there is a 27 year waiting list for becoming a member of the club and even once you’ve waited the 27 years you still need approval from at least 3 members and the endorsement of a sponsor. Good luck.
10. Lords is home to one of only a handful of “real” tennis courts
A combination of squash and tennis – real tennis was referred to as sport of kings and dates back to the 17th century. We were fortunate enough to catch a real life game between two 50 year old fat men.
There you have it folks, 9 things you hopefully didn’t know about Lords Cricket Ground. How many of these did you know? Any others you can think of? As always, we’d love to hear from you so hit us with a tweet @leftbacks or a comment below.