Herts and MCC meet for Lord’s bicentenary

Monday, June 9, 2014
10:40 AM

Hertfordshire are preparing to take part in a unique cricketing occasion at the headquarters of the game on Sunday June 22.

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The county side will play the MCC at Lord’s to open the celebrations of the famous ground’s bicentenary.

The first game ever played at Lord’s was on June 22 1814, when MCC played Hertfordshire and this rematch, which will be a 40-over a side game starting at 2pm, launches a summer of events to mark the milestone.

“This is a huge honour for our county to play a significant part in such a milestone celebration for the largest, most influential , historic and famous cricket club that exists in world cricket,” said Nick Glibert, the chairman of the Hertfordshire County Cricket Association. “We have every wish for the cricketing community in Hertfordshire at whatever level to come to Lord’s on 22nd June to join us and help MCC mark the day.

“I’m pleased that many organisations have really “bought into” the day and even to the point where some clubs are laying on buses for the day to take their members to Lord’s. This is fantastic for us and hopefully a significant crowd on the day will not only help cheer our boys on but will add to the festival type atmosphere that I know MCC would love to see.”

“It is a huge privilege,” says Hertfordshire’s director of cricket, Iain Fletcher, who will announce the team next week, selection for which has been, as you would expect, keenly contested. Fletcher said that in selection and playing terms the side would be trying to treat the occasion as a one-day trophy game.

The MCC side will be led by the club’s head of cricket, John Stephenson, the former Essex and Hampshire batsman who played one Test for England, and is expected to include two players from Hertfordshire clubs in Aaron Laraman, the Welwyn Garden City all-rounder, and Radlett fast bowler Chad Barrett.

It promises to be a truly special day at Lord’s, with unprecedented access to the hallowed and historic pavilion, usually open only to members and limited guests. However, for this day, the club are issuing 1,000 tickets for the pavilion, half of which can be booked in advance, half available on the day.

Admission to the ground is £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s.

There will be a host of attractions and festivities on the day as well including a children’s fete, bicentenary Lord’s tours, cricket master classes, live music, Victorian food stalls, wine and champagne tasting, real ale bars and film shows in the Lord’s museum.

There is also the chance to sit and watch from the outfield in front of the grandstand, which his not been allowed since 1987.

Gilbert explained how the original game happened back in 1814. “We suspect that Hertfordshire took part in the first game at Lord’s for two reasons. Firstly there is the geographical element, bearing in mind transport links in1814 were not as today. Secondly a significant number of the founders and earliest senior officers within MCC came from the landed gentry of Hertfordshire. It might have appeared to be a natural fixture for the MCC to arrange at the time.

“The idea for this match was hatched four years ago by my predecessor as chairman, Alistair Buchanan (now our president) who wrote to the MCC suggesting the fixture but whilst they were very interested in principle felt, quite understandably, that they could not commit to the fixture so far in the future.

“We heard nothing for a couple of years and when the chief executive of the MCC changed to it’s current incumbent, Derek Brewer, Alistair decided to raise the matter again by writing to the MCC. We were very pleased when Mr Brewer seemed to really “latch on” to the idea and momentum has grown since then to where we are now.”

It promises to be a fantastic occasion the young, home-grown side led by Nesan Jeyaratnam, the North Mymms batsman, and a marvellous opportunity for a great day out for anyone involved in Hertfordshire cricket.

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