KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
Founded in 1787, Marylebone Cricket Club is the most active and famous cricket club in the world and owner of Lord's Cricket Ground - the Home of Cricket.
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MCC is determined to ensure that Lord's remains world-class, as well as world-famous. Accordingly, it has invested more than £50 million, over the last twenty five years, in various ground modernisation projects.
This investment programme has resulted in the construction of four new stands (including the award-winning Mound Stand), MCC's Cricket Academy and the futuristic J.P. Morgan Media Centre.
Far from resting on its laurels, MCC has recently been investing even more money to ensure that Lord's has both a unique historic appeal and truly state-of-the-art sporting facilities.
In the 2013/2013 winter MCC has engaged in a dual phase project with contractor Steven Pask to completely replace the outfield at Lord's as well as adding two new pitches - one to each end of the square.
Watch: Practice makes perfect
The new pitches will be used as practice surfaces for internationals and, after a "bedding in" period of a couple of years, for matches.
The outfield half of the project was funded by LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) after Lord's was successfully used as the venue for the Olympic Archery event.
Over the 2011/2012 winter, MCC redeveloped its Cricket Academy and undertook a two month outside refurbishment of the J.P. Morgan Media Centre for the first time since it was opened in 1999. The process is part of £2million worth of redevelopments in 2012.
The magnificent retractable floodlights were switched on in May 2009 after installation at a cost of £2.7million. The floodlights, among the best at any cricketing venue in the world, have allowed MCC to host day/night international cricket as well as domestic 20-over and 40-over matches. They have also helped play continue in gloomy conditions during Test matches.
These improvement projects have included the development of portable pitches on the Nursery Ground, the re-laying of pitches on the main Ground and an £8 million programme to restore the Pavilion - a Grade II* listed building - to pristine condition.
In addition, the 2003 season saw teams playing on a new surface for the first time. This followed MCC's decision to replace its old clay-based, slow-draining outfield with a new sand-based, fast-draining surface at a cost of £1.25 million.
Although expensive, MCC believes that this project has already proved well worthwhile. It has reduced the number of rain-induced breaks in play at Lord's and also cut their length - to the relief of players, spectators and cricket-loving viewers and listeners alike. The same drainage system has now been installed at other grounds throughout the UK.