I bloody love cricket I do.
It's a proper sport, with proper ridiculously complicated rules and played by people who aren't paid £18billion per second and can actually string a sentence together. It stops for lunch, tea AND rain. Matches can be days long and still end in a draw. Proper sport.
But I'd never been to the Home of Cricket - Lords - until a couple of weeks ago when I went on a ground tour with a friend.
Costing £18 for about two hours, the tour covers all the major sights at Lords - the Long Room, both dressing rooms, the honours boards, the players' balconies, the pitch and the media centre - as well as the MCC museum and members' private gym (they have royal tennis courts not regularly tennis courts, obviously) all with a really knowledgeable guide.
I knew a little bit about Lords and the MCC - the Marylebone Cricket Club, the private members club that essentially runs world cricket, the waiting list to join is about 20 years long and the process is so ridiculously complicated it's probably easier to invent a new sport from scratch and join its club - before the tour but I left knowing so much more. It's is incredibly interesting and the guides really know their Graham Onions. (Cricket joke there. Pretty proud of it.) And getting to walk through the Long Room and sit in the same seats in the same dressing rooms as the best cricketers in the world is goosebump inducingly cool.
When we were there it was the week before a test match (vs India) starting a few days later so as a little bonus we got to see the head groundsman getting the pitch ready. That's him below in the shorts and white shirt, pushing the mower by hand to make sure everything is perfect.
|The media centre|
|The pitch, covered and ready for action|