Lord’s boosted by council ruling

Westminster City Council has given Lord’s the go-ahead to make the cricket ground’s floodlights permanent in a move that will increase the number of evening matches at the venue.

The ESPNcricinfo website notes that Lord’s, which serves as the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club and also hosts England internationals, will now be permitted to use its floodlights on 18 evenings instead of 10.

The ruling comes ahead of a busy period of events for Lord’s next year, with the ground pencilled in to host matches during the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) new Hundred competition, along with Middlesex fixtures, Test matches and a day-night one-day international between England and Australia.

The use of temporary floodlights at Lord’s has prompted complaints from locals but the council’s ruling comes as a boost to the Marylebone Cricket Club, which owns the venue.

The ruling comes after objections to the floodlight application were submitted in May by six local residents who argued that antisocial behaviour from alcohol-fuelled fans would cause sleep disruption. ESPNcricinfo said the application has been accepted on the condition that extra stewards are on hand to ensure fans leave the ground quickly after the match.

Robert Ebdon, the MCC’s assistant secretary for estates and ground development, said: “We are thankful for the co-operative and constructive relationship we have with our neighbours, and Westminster City Council who have supported this result. It is a positive outcome for the future generations that will come to Lord’s to watch and play cricket.”

Image: Daniel