MCC v Notts, Lord’s, 1st day

The NatWest Media Centre at Lord'sA great day today. Not only did I get into Lord’s for free thanks to my golden ticket (otherwise known as a media pass) but my boss got me into the pavillion and took me on a guided tour. What a place! What a bloody place. It was like a hotel or, as one of the stewards put it, “a lovely old museum” which was spot on. There are many bars (5, Martin?), many plush and comfortable seats and countless stunning paintings, most of which are original and many date back well into the 1800s.

The long room was particularly amazing. The name rather gives away its essence, for it is a rather long room – and, apparently, packed on match days. The whole place was like a village, a cricket-fan’s slice of heaven, with a slightly different and invariably better view of the play from whichever room/floor you happen to be in.

At the very top is another bar, and on the terracotta-coloured brickwork on the outside are the engravings of player’s names. Rain has stopped play since the game’s inception, but it’s nevertheless magical to see written proof of a player’s boredom, stretching back to the 1800s. Priceless. Let’s hope they remain there for ever.

Jason Gallian defendsBefore the pavillion I was introduced to the media centre. The lift heaved us to the top and, when the doors opened, my initial reaction was “Shit. I’m in a Big Brother house” which does a huge disservice to the centre’s architect! The design is ultra-modern and incredibly well-planned. All emphasis is on the ground, on the playing area, and the view is astonishing. The roof’s curve naturally dip down onto the glass, and so does your focus; you can’t get away from the view. It’s massive, and “there” – quite brilliant. Lots of blue everywhere too. And free coffee!

I didn’t watch any of the game from the media centre – play didn’t begin until 2pm – but on first glance, it felt…detached, somehow, from the game. The view is so clear, so uninterrupted, you could almost be watching a TV. I imagine I might prefer sitting in the stands for much of a day’s play, or perching somewhere, instead of spending the whole day in the media centre despite its’ many obvious benefits. Oh, it’s all bloody wicked.

Photos are here. More tomorrow.

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