KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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2011 will be remembered by England fans as the summer when their Test side realised a dream which many might have thought impossible, as Andrew Strauss' team became the top ranked side in the world.
They started their series against recently crowned ICC World Champions India needing to beat Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side by two clear Tests over a four match series.
That first match at Lord's - the 2,000th Test in history - set them on the way in what became a momentous summer, with a full house queuing around the block to witness their victory on day five.
At Lord's, it was a big year on and off the field for MCC, who once again took the Champion County match to the Abu Dhabi desert, hosted Kumar Sangakkara's memorable Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture and sadly lost the services of a hugely respected Chief Executive.
So join Lords.org as we take a look back at what was in the news from 2011...
Dravid looks good in pink
MCC, for the second consecutive year, took the season opening Champion County match to Abu Dhabi as part of the MCC World Cricket Committee's research into pink-ball, day-night Tests.
WCC Member Rahul Dravid was the star name in an MCC side who avenged 2010's defeat to Durham by trouncing Nottinghamshire. Dravid made a stunning century, while there was an impressive match-haul for Afghanistan fast bowler Hamid Hassan.
Sri Lanka hold England
Despite the ultimate success of the summer for England's Test side their first five-day outing at Lord's of the summer ended in a tame draw with a stubborn Sri Lanka.
Despite scores of 96 and 106 from run machine Alastair Cook, it was a brilliant innings of 193 from visiting skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan which really enthralled the Lord's crowd in a match dominated by the bat.
In fact, perhaps the most memorable incident of the Test came off the pitch. Window-gate,' involving Matt Prior's bat and the mysterious smashing of a window in the home dressing home was headline news, as well as providing yet another point of interest in the year-round Tours of Lord's.
Dilshan's innings was to be usurped as the best performance by a Sri Lankan at the Home of Cricket in 2011 though just a few weeks later.
Kumar Sangakkara became the youngest man to deliver the prestigious MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture in its 11th year, and set the bar at new heights with a stunning address.
The batsman delivered an eloquent and impassioned speech in the Nursery Pavilion which made headlines throughout the cricketing world.
Taylor bows out
England women's legend Clare Taylor, scorer of the highest ever ODI century at the Home of Cricket, bowed out of the international game in 2011.
Australia made sure her last England appearance at Lord's ended in defeat, but it was Charlotte Edwards' side's only loss of a summer in which they reestablished themselves as the world's leading team, beating the Aussies, New Zealand and India in the NatWest T20 and ODI Quadrangular's.
Let us in!
The final day of a superb 2,000th Test match was fitting of its esteemed billing as thousands queued from 3am to take advantage of reduced ticket prices of £20 for adults and free for under-16, making the largest ever fifth day crowd at Lord's.
Those who were lucky enough to gain entry didn't see Sachin Tendulkar's 100th hundred on his last appearance at Lord's but they were treated to a superb England bowling performance, as five Jimmy Anderson wickets secured a 196-run win.
The win set England on their way to a dominant summer as the hosts whitewashed India 4-0, robbing them of their number one Test status in the process.
England and India reconvened later in the summer and produced another cracking fixture, which ended in a tie.
India looked in command after setting a stern target of 281 thanks to Mahendra Singh Dhoni (78) and Suresh Raina (84) and looked comfortable favourites after reducing England to 61-3.
Wonderful innings of 96 from Ravi Bopara and several rain delays then stalled their progress, before a confusing ending in which Bopara was caught on the fence attempting a six off what turned out to be the last ball of the innings.
India thought they had finally secured a first victory of the tour, but the Duckworth/Lewis method settled on a tie which sealed England's series victory.
Middlesex ensured First Division LV County Championship cricket will return to Lord's in 2012 after winning the second division title in September.
Angus Fraser's side were in the promotion hunt from the first game of the summer, and despite struggling in the FL Twenty20 Cup, finished the job off at the back-end of the season.
They also narrowly missed out on qualification for the CB40 semi-finals and had to watch as London rivals Surrey beat county cricket's 'bridesmaids' Somerset in the Lord's final.
Platinum for MCC
ECB announced that MCC had been awarded the Platinum Package of major matches for the period 2013-2016.
The deal initially guaranteed two Test matches a year to be played at Lord's, but the subsequent postponement of the 2013 ICC World Test Championship means only one is currently scheduled that summer.
All change & a new plan for Lord's
MCC Secretary and Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw announced his resignation from his post due to family reasons in September.
The MCC Committee later voted to develop Lord's on a 'stand-by-stand' basis, rather than implementing the original 'Vision for Lord's' project.
2011 then ended on a positive note for the Club when it announced the appointment of Nottinghamshire's Derek Brewer as the fifteenth Chief Executive of the Club.