Lord’s cricket ground: the mecca of cricket

As Lord's prepares to host the 2019 World Cup final, Spencer Mizen soaks up two centuries of history – Victorian grandeur, priceless art and stuffed sparrows to the fore – at cricket's most storied venue

The Lord's pavilion

When, on 14 July, the players walk out onto Lord’s’ impeccably manicured turf to contest the final of the 2019 World Cup – bringing the curtain down on a six-week extravaganza of towering sixes, toe-crunching yorkers and brilliant catches – cricket will feel very much like a game for the here and now. Yet of all the world’s leading sports, perhaps none is more in thrall to its past than England’s summer game, and nowhere is this more evident than at Lord’s.

In fact, from the moment I arrived at cricket’s most storied venue – stopping to admire the Grace Gates, the cast-iron tribute to WG, one of the most famous of all Victorians – I could almost feel history hurtling towards me like a well-directed bouncer. And it’s a long history – one that stretches back to 1787 when Thomas Lord – the son of Yorkshire who gave the venue his name – secured a ground for the newly formed Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) to play on.

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