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 Head Groundsman Mick Hunt will ring the five-minute bell before the MCC v Rest of the World Bicentenary Celebration match at Lord’s on Saturday 5 July.
Hunt, who is the longest-serving member of MCC staff, has worked at the Home of Cricket since 1969, taking charge of the groundstaff in 1985.
He will ring the bell, situated outside the Bowlers’ Bar of the Lord’s Pavilion, to signify the imminent start of play of the fifty-over match celebrating the 200th anniversary of the current ground.
The match, which sees Sachin Tendulkar’s MCC side take on a Rest of the World XI captained by Shane Warne, will be played in front of a full house at Lord’s, and also features star names such as Adam Gilchrist, Rahul Dravid and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Hunt has been selected to ring the bell to reward his years of service to MCC, and to represent the other staff members of the Club. In his 45 years working at Lord’s, Hunt has prepared pitches for 73 Test matches and 127 ODIs, including all seven World Cup Finals played at the ground.
MCC Chief Executive Derek Brewer said: "I am delighted to be able to invite Mick to ring the five-minute bell before such a prestigious game. His years of service providing outstanding pitches at Lord’s are unrivalled, setting the standard for groundsmen the world over.
"By ringing the bell Mick is representing all MCC staff whose dedication and hard-work behind the scenes is valued so highly, and continues to make this a world-class venue."
The ringing of the five-minute bell at Lord’s by an international cricketer, administrator or well-known enthusiast of the sport is a recent tradition brought in by former MCC Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw in 2007.
Other bell-ringers include Sir Ian Botham, Shane Warne and the Jamaican world sprint champion Yohan Blake.