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 will take on the Rest of the World in two matches as the Club celebrates the Bicentenerary of Lord's Ground in 2014.
A Men's Rest of the World side will play a 50-overs match reflecting the celebrations for the Club's Bicentenerary in 1987 when Mike Gatting - who will serve as MCC President next year - captained the Club and scored 179.
The date of the fixture will be announced by ECB as part of next year's programme of major matches.
Later in the season, in a match of significant firsts, MCC Women will take on Rest of the World Women.
It will be the first time an MCC Women’s side has played on the Main Ground at Lord’s, and the first time a Rest of the World Women’s side has played anywhere.
Another significant event in the summer takes place on Sunday 22 June when, exactly 200 years to the day since the first match on the Ground in 1814, MCC will play the opposition on that day, Hertfordshire.
In celebration, MCC will throw open its doors to local people and invite them in to see behind the scenes and partake in a range of activities at Lord’s.
Current MCC President Mike Griffith said the Club wanted to share the 200th birthday of Lord's with as many people as possible.
He added: "The Club has put together a programme of diverse and unique cricketing and social events which I hope will appeal to Members and non-members, cricket-lovers and those new to the game.
"We may be commemorating the past, but there is so much new to celebrate too – it’s a great step forward for Lord’s to host the first ever MCC v Rest of the World women’s match, and by opening our doors on 22 June we hope to bring the delights of Lord’s to many people who have never visited the Ground before."
Middlesex also celebrates a significant anniversary – of 150 years since its establishment – in 2014, and a President of MCC’s XI will take on a President of Middlesex’s XI in a Twenty20 match next year.
Later in the year, in October, MCC plans another first for the Ground. Subject to the Club receiving planning permission, a marquee to accommodate more than 600 people will be erected on the Main Ground and linked to the Pavilion via the Concourse.
It will stage banquets, balls, and lunches for both MCC Members and members of the public, and a tea party for local children.
A new range of commemorative Bicentenary merchandise for both Members and the public will be produced.
Items for Members will be available to view and order during this year’s Australia Test Match, and Members will have priority for ordering items until 1 October, when they will become available to the general public.