MCC Reflect on an Unforgettable Summer at the Home of Cricket
After an unforgettable 2019 season at the Home of Cricket, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has reflected on the summer at Lord’s and the impact the Ground and the Club has had on the wider game of cricket.
Lord’s hosted twelve major matches this year as 476,579 visitors enjoyed the two England Specsavers Test Matches, five ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Matches including the final, four Vitality Blast Matches and the Royal London One-Day Cup Final. The figure rises to well over half a million when including the other matches that were hosted this year.
The Club has contributed over £11 million to the ECB over the previous two years for staging major matches, and with 2019 being an Ashes year, as well as Lord’s hosting Ireland’s maiden Test in England, MCC expect similar levels of contribution in the future.
England’s victory over Ireland drew a crowd of over 25,000 for each of the first three days, a figure that exceeded initial expectation, whilst 50% of the ticket purchasers were new to Lord’s who took advantage of low ticket prices. A family of four was able to attend one of the three days of the Ireland Test for as little as £60 – the cheapest price for a family to watch England play Test cricket at any ground in the country in 2019. The five days of England’s drawn match with Australia, part of a thrilling Specsavers Ashes Series, attracted over 140,000 supporters to Lord’s.
Middlesex’s Vitality Blast matches at Lord’s again drew strong crowds that contributed to a record-breaking year of attendances for the competition. Average attendances rose at Lord’s by 21% across the four matches hosted, in comparison to 2018’s fixtures. The London derby at Lord’s between Middlesex and Surrey attracted a crowd of 27,773, officially the highest ever attendance for an English domestic T20 match.
When reflecting on the 2019 campaign at Lord’s, the incredible ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Final will live long in the memory of fans around the world, and was one of the five sold out World Cup encounters at the Home of Cricket. This year’s World Cup was the most watched ICC event ever, with a global cumulative average audience of 1.6 billion for live coverage and a unique broadcast audience of 706 million viewers.
In the UK alone, a cumulative audience of 15.4 million witnessed the most exciting final in the competition’s history as England battled to beat New Zealand in a tense and exhilarating encounter in front of an electric atmosphere at Lord’s. The unique audience figure peaked at nearly 9 million at the start of the historic Super Over.
Digital engagement for the Home of Cricket itself were similarly impressive. During the major match season, there were 431.8 million total impressions across the Lord’s social media channels, which also received 64.1 million video views and attracted 267,200 new followers, compared to 87,000 in the same period last year. The new Lord’s website which launched last winter received almost 3 million page views.
MCC’s burgeoning provision in the community, both locally to Lord’s, and on a national and international basis has also been an important focus for the Club in 2019. Over 2,000 schoolchildren received coaching in their school, whilst 285 attended Community-based cricket programmes.
The MCC Foundation, the charitable arm of MCC, will run 54 cricketing Hubs across England, Scotland, and Wales this winter, providing over 2,000 children from state secondary schools with high quality coaching.
As well as running the nationwide Hubs programme, the Foundation also works with MCC’s Community Department providing free cricket in Westminster, and, from November, will be starting work in Nepal to help develop the game there as part of MCC’s Legacy Tour Programme. The Foundation will fund new pitches, coach education, kit provision, and a new schools tournament in Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest city.
MCC’s investment in cricket is also highlighted by the MCC Young Cricketers programme, which continues to thrive. Spearheaded by new Head Coach Ajmal Shahzad, the YCs provide a pathway to professional cricket for youngsters and giving them the opportunity to go on to sign contracts with county teams, which five players this summer have gone on to do.
Guy Lavender, Chief Executive & Secretary of MCC, said: “It has been a season to remember both on and off the pitch at Lord’s. We’ve seen some hugely entertaining cricket and it has been fantastic for the Ground, and indeed for the Club, to be in the global spotlight.
“MCC makes a significant contribution to the game of cricket and whilst the numbers of supporters engaging in the game, both at Lord’s itself and digitally are impressive, some of the other work that MCC does is its most important.
“Our community schemes across the UK, London and internationally are at the heart of our aim to ensure cricket has a positive impact on people’s lives. The Club, together with the MCC Foundation, helps to do this in a variety of different ways, whether it be through attending a match at Lord’s or picking up a bat for the first time at one of our grassroots projects.
“We are committed to delivering a world-class standard of event at Lord’s and creating a wonderful experience for supporters, Members and all our visitors.”
© Cricket World 2019