MCC reflect on a historic 2021 season at the Home of Cricket
Lord’s Cricket Ground got back to full operations during the 2021 season following a hiatus in 2020 due to Covid-19.
The Home of Cricket witnessed big international clashes of India, New Zealand and Pakistan, Vitality Blast, County Championship, Bob Willis Trophy Final and the inaugural The Hundred among a host of minor matches played at the Ground. In total, MCC hosted 55 match days this season with some record-breaking moments to remember.
Lord’s in numbers:
- The Royal London Men’s ODI between England and Pakistan in July was among the first sporting events in the UK to operate at full capacity as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme with a crowd of 23,153 in attendance.
- Full crowds enjoyed a fascinating Test between England and India Men in August seeing 138,967 spectators across the five-day clash. Lord’s turned ‘Red for Ruth’ on the second day of the match, helping to raise an incredible £1,204,447 for the Ruth Strauss Foundation.
- The Hundred arrived at Lord’s with the Ground hosting four London Spirit men’s and women’s group matches, watched by over 117,000 fans. The women’s final attracted a new domestic record for women’s cricket with a packed crowd of 17,116 witnessing Oval Invincibles defeat Southern Brave to lift the trophy. In the men’s final, over 24,500 watched Southern Brave avenge their earlier defeat with victory over Birmingham Phoenix.
Lord’s was host to the UK’s first international cricket match to be played in front of a crowd (limited to 25% capacity) since summer 2019. The MCC Foundation also held the grand finals of their National Hubs tournament which included the first ever junior girls hard ball game played on the Main Ground.
Off the field of play, the Club has realised several ambitions across its operations and activities and witnessed some momentous milestones along the way. The highlights include:
- The new world-class Compton and Edrich stands were officially opened by the then MCC President, Kumar Sangakkara. Lord’s remains the biggest cricket ground in the UK, with the new stands increasing ground capacity to 31,180.
- Clare Connor became the Club’s first female President, officially starting her term in office on 1 October. Connor played an integral part in the Club’s inaugural ‘Power Play’, a panel discussion that showcased MCC’s commitment to developing the women’s and girls’ game. Bruce Carnegie-Brown also took office as the Club’s sixth Chairman.
- The Club announced that it will be replacing and renaming the North Gate to the Heyhoe Flint Gate, in honour and celebration of Rachael Heyhoe Flint’s contribution to the game.
- Digital engagement increased significantly with lords.org having nearly 1.7 million unique visitors and over 5 million page views. The Home of Cricket’s social media channels, including the launch of an MCC Twitter channel and TikTok, increased its following by 22.5% to nearly 3.5 million followers.
- During the Ground closure, we collaborated with local Primary Care Networks and Healthcare Central London, to convert a space to provide one of Westminster Borough’s largest vaccination centres at the Ground, allowing the team of GPs and volunteers to deliver 46,000 vaccines to local residents over a four-month period.
- The MCC Community Development team developed an online PE Portal, aimed at primary-aged school children, to maintain the vital sports activities the Club provides to local state schools during lockdown. The portal delivered regularly updated games, solo activities and challenges to keep children energised and active while being home-schooled.
Reflecting on the year, Guy Lavender, Chief Executive & Secretary of MCC, said: “It has been a momentous season both on and off the pitch at Lord’s. From playing behind closed doors in April and May, to breaking domestic crowd attendance records at the end of July. All of this could not have been achieved without our incredible staff at MCC, the continued support of our Members, suppliers and partners, and everyone who visited Lord’s this year.
“It has been a humbling year and one with many learnings and like many organisations, there are challenges but also many positives to take away. We are working hard to ensure 2022 will be very special at the Home of Cricket and we can’t wait to welcome back Members and crowds again next year”.
©Cricket World 2021