As I sit here at Lord’s, the Olympics are only a day away, and the whole atmosphere could not be further removed from the Home of Cricket.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has turned the place into a fortress, and huge stands now adorn the hallowed turf.
How on earth the MCC are going to get the outfield ready in time will be one of the challenges of the summer, but as the preparations for this have been in place for years, I am sure that they will be able to manage.
All this is a far cry from the hectic start to the cricket season, a really busy time for all of the staff as home matches, the Golden Jubilee, Ladies Day and summer parties all followed one another in quick succession. It’s a miracle how we have managed to play so much cricket in the worst summer in living memory.
Despite all the huge amount of work put in, and for all the good feats of the players, the weather has taken a serious toll on county finances. Spectators have stayed away due to the cold and the wet, and I fear that we are in for a nasty financial outturn. We are all grateful that so many members have taken advantage of our “Introduce a member” refund scheme, which has helped membership numbers remain steady. Middlesex is still one of the best kept secrets in London, as people quite naturally assume that we are the MCC and therefore with a 20 year waiting list. Time after time people are amazed that Middlesex members have full use of the Pavilion and all its facilities on Middlesex match days.
We have now launched our “Join now for next year” offer, another opportunity to invite friends and colleagues to join our great club. Next year is an Ashes year, with the following year our 150th anniversary, so there will be plenty for all to enjoy.
The “off the field” highlight of the year so far has undoubtedly been the opening of the new Pavilion at Radlett. It is the culmination of three years hard work, but finally a proper place for the players to play and practice. They have been extremely impressed with the facilities, and it gives them the perfect place to prepare properly. My thanks to Tony Johnson at Radlett – it was his vision that has resulted in such a terrific facility, and has secured a long term base for the players to flourish.
Enjoy the rest of the summer – the county championship looks set fair for another exciting finish. Fingers crossed we will be in the thick of it!
CLICK HERE to read what MD of Cricket Angus Fraser has to say about on-field activities so far this season.
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