London: Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the owners of Lord's, have scrapped a proposed £400 million redevelopment of the 'home of cricket' in favour of an upgrade of the existing stands.
The original plan, entitled Vision for Lord's, and launched in 2008, was strongly supported by the MCC's Australian chief executive and former Tasmania cricketer Keith Bradshaw. But Bradshaw recently stepped down from his post because of family reasons and the downturn in the global economy has led MCC, who'd already spent £3 million on a complicated project that included proposals to build luxury residential tower-blocks at the Nursery End, to opt for a more modest plan.
The 'Vision' scheme also envisaged underground car parking and a new indoor academy, but with Lord's guaranteed two Tests a year in the latest England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) tender round, there is a sense the MCC no longer need to embark upon a massive redevelopment programme to secure the ground's status.
"Since the process of looking at the long-term development began some years ago, the club has always prioritised the fundamental objective of maintaining and enhancing the reputation of Lord's as the pre-eminent cricket ground in the world and the global home of cricket," said MCC chairman Oliver Stocken.
"The club also made it clear that the Vision for Lord's project was subject to both the financial viability of the proposed development as a whole and reaching an agreement with the ECB on the number of major matches to be played at Lord's in the coming years."
Former New Zealand bowler Martin Snedden, widely praised for his role as chief executive of the recent Rugby World Cup, is among those who've been suggested as a possible successor to Bradshaw.