As the Ashes Test Match gets underway today between England and Australia, here are five things you need to know about Lord's cricket ground…
• Lord’s, the world’s most celebrated cricket ground, is named for Yorkshireman Thomas Lord (1755-1832). It was Lord who first acquired land to open a private cricket ground for the White Conduit Club, the forerunner of the famous MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club).
• Lord’s is currently in its third incarnation. The original stood where we now find modern day Dorset Square, with the second ground being moved by the development of the Regent’s Canal. Lord’s Mk.III as we know and love it today dates back to 1813
• Having already been evicted from two previous sites, Lord’s came under attack once more in the late 1880s when the Great Central Railway company, backed by an Act of Parliament, demanded that the Nursery End of the ground be bulldozed to make way for train tracks. The eventual solution was a tunnel beneath the ground. This cartoon (below) shows the famous W.G Grace leading the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) to do battle with the forces of progress…
• The famous Lord’s weathervane in the shape of Old Father Time is a reference to Law 16(3) of the Laws of Cricket: "After the call of Time, the bails shall be removed from both wickets."
• In the annals of Cricket, it is well recorded that the first Test Match on English soil against the Australians took place in 1878. A less celebrated fact is that the Aussies took on the English at Lord’s and The Oval a full 10 years earlier. The first Aussie cricket side to tour England was an Aboriginal XI in 1868.
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