Lord’s moves out of the Dark Ages

In the beginning was Lord’s. And all around was a formless void, swathed in darkness. And the MCC said: “Let there be light,” and light appeared. And 5,000 fans saw that the light was good, even though it was only temporary. And the local residents didn’t kick up too much of a fuss. And thus Lord’s took a bold step into the 21st century.

From the distinct lack of glitz on display on Monday night, It’s immediately clear that night cricket at Lord’s will never enjoy the same raucous atmosphere it does at The Oval. But then again, nor should it. The long overdue experiment will hopefully transform the Lord’s experience into something more thrilling and inclusive whilst retaining its respectful eloquence. Day-night games at Lord’s will feel rather like a garden party to which the whole family is invited. There really is no reason why floodlights should automatically be synonymous with furry mascots and Gwen Stefani.

Tribute to Patrick Eagar

Tomorrow marks Patrick Eagar’s 300th[1] Test match. It is a phenomonal achievement to have stayed at the top of his profession, in what has become a frenzied market, for so long. There will be a presentation made to him at some point during the Test, and it is richly deserved. He is an outstanding artist and photographer who has captured the vast majority of iconic imagery in cricket in the past 30 or 40 years. I’ve only met him a couple of times, but he’s a true gent – accomodating, interesting and without a trace of pomposity or ceremony about him which, given the success he has had, you might expect to be the case.

Congratulations Patrick. And so what if he missed the last two West Indies Tests in order to stage his 300th at the home of cricket! Check out his website; you’ll probably spot half a dozen photos which you’ve already seen (not least the catch Andrew Strauss took during the 2005 Ashes).

[1] At least, I think it’s the 300th – could be more…

England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord’s, 5th day

So, both sides are going for the win apparently. West Indies need 401, England 10 wickets, but the weather’s not great. Murky, and rain is expected. Anyway, keep an eye on the scorecard and leave your thoughts in the comments.

England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord’s, 3rd day

The third day from Lord’s. England are storming through this Test. Overnight declaration or will they bat for 20 minutes just to grind West Indies further into da mire?

Chat away

England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord’s, 2nd day

England, your task today is simple. Rack up at least 450, then bowl West Indies out for under 200. Weather is set fair so we should be in for a full day’s play. West Indies were quite dreadful yesterday, their bowlers lacking discipline and form. England just cruised along…

Leave your thoughts in the comments, if you so wish

England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord’s, 1st day

It’s not chucking it down. That’s the good news. But it is drizzling, so we might be in for a delayed start and a stop-start kind of day. Looks like Flintoff will miss out.

Keep an eye on the commentary and leave your thoughts below.

Photos from MCC v Sussex, Lord’s

Some cracking photos from Peter Meade of MCC v Sussex.

Matthew Hoggard in typical unrestrained, relaxed, un-mediary pose:

Matthew Hoggard

Steve Harmison. Pensive as ever.

Steve Harmison

And finally…

Friends Provident

The start of the English season

The English season finally got underway today, even though I still feel as though it’s the middle of winter, what with this blasted World Cup dragging on for an eternity. Here’s a pic from today’s opener, MCC v Sussex, from Martin Williamson – my boss and fellow Cricinfo winner and photo phanatic.

Lord's scoreboard

Spot the mistake. Pleasingly, despite today’s unseasonal sunny cheer, the day ended in true early-season style: bad light stopped play.

Partying in Cherie’s gob

I’m so eloquent with my titles on this blog aren’t I? All class. Anyway, just seen this photo – a birthday party in the Lord’s media centre (some say it resembled Cherie Blair’s rather unnaturally wide mouth. Hence the title. You got that though).

Lord’s is where it’s at these days…out with the dusty traditionalists and in with, hang on…women? WOMEN? They’ll be letting them vote, introducing pay equality and all sorts next!

Mark's family at Nobumi's party


Live discussion: England v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Lord’s

It’s another one-dayer. It’s at Lord’s. It involves England, so cue a flurry of words post-match about why they’re so crap, how this affects the Ashes etc etc

But maybe, just maybe, they might wake up for today’s match. Chat away, leave comments and generally make a nuisance of yourselves here.

Cricinfo live scorecard