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Last Updated: Friday, 20 July 2007, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
MCC plans talks over Lord's Tests
Lord's is the biggest and most lucrative ground for England
Lord's is the biggest and most lucrative ground for England

The MCC will hold talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board over fears that Lord's might lose one of its two Tests each summer.

A new staging agreement starts in 2009 and Lord's owners are worried other grounds might be handed matches.

Spokesman Iain Wilton said: "We'd like to think the facilities here are as good as anywhere if not better.

"But we need to make a very attractive case to the ECB to continue staging the number of major games we currently do."

Lord's, which has hosted Test matches since 1884, is the largest and most lucrative venue for England with its capacity of 30,000.

Potentially you have more grounds competing for a smaller number of Test matches and we want to make sure we can put forward a very good case for Lord's keeping its current share of the fixtures

MCC spokesman Iain Wilton

Gate receipts for the Test against Australia in 2005 reaped 3.6m and the MCC is planning to increase the number of spectators it holds with a major 100m redevelopment of the famous London venue.

But Wilton admits it cannot afford to be complacent, with newer grounds providing more options for the ECB.

"We're conscious of a number of pressures because there are more grounds looking to get Test status," he added.

606: DEBATE

"The Rose Bowl is coming up for that once a few infrastructure things have been addressed, you have people like Durham who want Tests on an annual basis rather than an occasional basis and you have Cardiff getting a Test for the first time in the 2009 Ashes series.

"There are those pressures of more grounds competing for matches and you also have the Schofield report saying that we could make a case for taking the number of summer Tests down from seven to six.

"Potentially you have more grounds competing for a smaller number of Test matches and we want to make sure that in terms of facilities and capacity and economics we can put forward a very good case for Lord's keeping its current share of the fixtures."

The ECB refused to comment on the forthcoming talks, saying: "The ECB negotiate with host grounds over staging agreements and the details of those negotiations are always kept confidential."

SEE ALSO
Lord's seeks major redevelopment
18 May 07 |  Cricket
Lord's set for 20m redevelopment
03 Nov 06 |  Cricket


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