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Cricket in North West London

One of the best sports England invented for spectators was cricket, because the audience gets to sit around in the sunshine, drinking beer and chatting with friends for days on end. And the home of this great game lies in north west London.

Marylebone Cricket Club [map] (MCC) was founded in 1787 and since then has been the godfather of the sport, guarding the laws and guiding its spirit. And they do this from their Lord’s Ground [map] in St Johns Wood.

Although the ground is home to the Middlesex county side, it also regularly plays host to most international teams that tour the country to play one-day games or five day test matches. In 2004, New Zealand and the West Indies played there, and in 2005 Australia beat England there in the first test of the Ashes series, which England went on to triumphantly win at The Oval.

Cricket has been around in England for centuries; in fact the first mention of the game being played dates back to 1300 in a village in Kent. Since then it’s believed that the game became popular amongst the lower classes of society before being adopted by London’s aristocrats and noblemen in the 1700’s. The game is now one of England’s national sports, but this by no means guarantees a win when playing in international competition.

The game itself is pretty straightforward – two teams play each other and there are 11 on each side. One side bats while the other fields, and the aim of the game is for the batting side to score as many runs as possible before the fielding team get you out. Over the years though, technology has had a significant impact on the game and this is often where the MCC come in.

To get more of an insight into the game and its long history why not take trip to Lords Cricket Ground [map] where you can watch a county game or an international showdown, or have a look around the MCC Museum [map].

As the world’s oldest sporting museum, the MCC Museum [map] is well worth a visit. Probably its most prized piece is the Ashes Urn, which was created in 1883 and given to England when they beat Australia in the 1882/83 series. Since then the name has been used for the England V Australia test which happens around every two years. However the museum is also home to a number of treasures of the game, including the kits of some of cricket’s best players, as well as memorabilia commemorating the game’s most famous player, W.G. Grace.

There are also tours available throughout the year for anyone wanting to learn more about this home of cricket.

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