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Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Thursday, 22 October 2009 15:58 UK

MCC prepares for stadium rivalry

Lord's Cricket Ground
The MCC is proud of the unique character of Lord's

The MCC, which owns Lord's, will "hit the competition head on" if the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium is used to host floodlit cricket after the 2012 Games.

The London Development Agency has asked the England and Wales Cricket Board to consider using the ground post-2012.

But MCC chief executive Keith Bradshaw said: "In the face of a potentially massive rival, we would strive to continue to play to our strengths.

"Lord's has a unique selling point. If competition is forthcoming, so be it."

Bradshaw is writing to the LDA to ascertain "exactly what engagement has taken place" with the ECB, noting that a spokesman from the national board - when contacted by BBC Sport on Wednesday - had said: "It's the first I've heard of it."

606: DEBATE
Waz's Left Arm

The Olympic Stadium will have 80,000 seats when the games comes to London, and though that number will probably be reduced after the Games, Lord's could lose its position as the biggest cricket ground in the country.

The famous old ground in St John's Wood has a capacity of 30,000, and that is unlikely to go beyond around 40,000 at the most in the foreseeable future.

Bradshaw said: "The MCC is determined to retain its intimate, traditional character. We are a ground and not a stadium, and no one here wants that to change.

"Spectators come to Lord's for everything from the picnics in the Coronation Garden to the thrill of watching players on the hallowed turf follow in the footsteps of Grace, Bradman and Compton."

Meanwhile, the LDA says it has also contacted two counties about taking on the stadium after 2012, although the four most obvious candidates - Surrey, Middlesex, Essex and Kent - deny they have been approached.

Of them, only Kent sound positive about the idea, with chief executive Paul Millman telling Cricinfo: "We haven't been approached but we'd be happy to look at imaginative proposals if they were put forward.

"Kent has a large catchment area that extends into London, and there is a huge opportunity at present to build on the success and interest in Twenty20 cricket."



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see also
Cricket focus for Olympic stadium
21 Oct 09 |  England
Stewart sees cricket in Olympics
14 Aug 09 |  Cricket
Cricket match is lit up at Lord's
27 May 09 |  London
2012 stadium on track, says Coe
18 Apr 09 |  Olympics
World Cup bid eyes Olympic venue
04 Sep 09 |  Internationals
FA asked to consider 2012 stadium
26 Jun 09 |  Olympics
Lord's bids to secure Test future
27 Feb 08 |  England
Essex announce Chelmsford revamp
17 Dec 07 |  Essex
Lord's seeks major redevelopment
18 May 07 |  Cricket
Surrey unveil new plans for Oval
18 Jan 07 |  Surrey
Lord's set for 20m redevelopment
03 Nov 06 |  Cricket


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