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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Controversy over Lord's cricket ground overhaul

Controversy over Lord's cricket ground overhaul

October 21, 2013 20:49 IST

A general view of Lord's cricket groundThe Marylebone Cricket Club, which owns Lord's Cricket Ground, is embroiled in allegations of "high-handedness" over a planned overhaul of the London-based stadium.

A group of disaffected MCC members were unable to force the club to hold an independent inquiry into the collapsed "Vision for Lord's" at a special general meeting on Sunday.

The committee, bolstered by a postal vote earlier in the week, was supported by 6,191 votes against 1,556, The Times, London, reported.

The "Vision", a 400-million pound overhaul of Lord's, was terminated in 2011 by MCC chairman Oliver Stocken and treasurer Justin Dowley, supported by a majority of the committee in favour of a scaled-down plan set to commence next year.

But members calling themselves the MCC Reform Group were unhappy over the manner in which this decision was reached and the governance of the club.

The club will commence on a piecemeal development of five stands over a 15-year period with its own funds. The disaffected members believe that it would not be able to afford to do so without a cash injection of 100 million pound from Almacantar, its former business partner, in return for building four or five blocks of flats overlooking the Nursery Ground.

MCC claims that such a development would mean that television crews and other personnel would not be able to work at Lord's during international matches.

Derek Brewer, MCC's secretary, said that the club had been asked by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to resolve the disputes over development if it was going to continue to stage two Tests as well as one-day internationals at Lord's each year.

"The next round of bidding for major matches from 2017-2019 will take place early next year. Edgbaston, Old Trafford and the Ageas Bowl have all improved their facilities and ours have fallen behind. Ours are not world-class," he said. 

Image: A general view of Lord's cricket ground

Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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