First Look: Commemorative coin for 2000th Test at Lord's
It is coincidence. Maybe it is destiny.
At the same time, it is also fact.
On 21st July 1884, Lord's hosted the first Test match ever played. That featured England and Australia, the former winning by an innings and five runs.
127 years on, on the very date (21st July), the same venue, now known as the Mecca of cricket the world over, will be hosting the 2000th Test -- with the hosts taking on India, the No.1 team in the rankings.
A lot has happened in the period, and Test cricket has gone in for a huge makeover, at times struggling to keep its identity with the advent of the game's shortest format, the T20s.
However, the essence remains the same.
Similar is the case with Lord's.
It has, thereafter, hosted a whopping 121 more Tests. The then unknown field is now a swanky stadium, with an equally swanky media box, nicknamed the Space Ship. But tradition hasn't changed over the years.
And keeping with tradition, the ECB has made elaborate arrangements to ensure the 2000th Test remains a special occasion.
A special commemorative medallion (pictured) has been issued and copies of the same will be distributed to all the 22 players playing the match, as well as the officials involved.
When England captain Andrew Strauss and his Indian counterpart, M S Dhoni, walk out on Thursday morning, they will toss up this medallion instead of a regular coin.
A special way, for sure, to celebrate what is a special occasion.
Image: The special commemorative medallion
Photographs: Bikash Mohapatra