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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Modern Home of Cricket visitors recognise the names Compton and Edrich as the two stands at the Nursery End - but the cricketers they're named after had their greatest Lord's moment against South Africa in 1947.
Dennis Compton and Bill Edrich were two of the standout batsmen of the post-war era, and the Test match - just the second at Lord's since the end of World War II, represented one of the their finest hours.
The pair treated capacity Lord's crowds to a then world Test record partnership of 370 runs, stretched over two days, as England set up an eventually comfortable win over South Africa by 10 wickets.
It was a partnership steeped in Lord's' past and present.
Both batsmen were Middlesex players; Compton also a product of the MCC Groundstaff (now the MCC Young Cricketers), and put on a magnificent show for their home crowd. After an 'enthralling tussle' in the early stages against a spirited South Africa attack, the pair launched their counter-attack.
"The two Middlesex batsmen assumed mastery," said Wisden. "It was a sparkling exhibition of fluent stroke-play."
Edrich benefitted from a missed stumping on 47 but was brilliant on the leg side in particular, striking a six with a hook on his way to 189 - his first century in England.
Compton meanwhile relied on his 'complete repertoire' of strokes, including the famous fine leg-sweep off the slow bowlers still associated with him today, on his way to a sublime 208. Lord's was packed with 30,000 spectators - with many turned away at the gate - for the first two days. Rarely had they been so richly entertained.
Steeped in history
Both players represented Middlesex on either side of World War II, with their careers stretching into the mid 1950s. Compton is remembered as the poster boy of English cricket during a glittering career which spanned 78 Tests and spawned 17 centuries at an average of 50.06. A fine footballer, he also won the FA Cup with Arsenal and became Britain's post-war pin-up, famously advertising Brylcreem.
Edrich was part of an excellent cricketing family, who were able to put out a full XI for matches in his native Norfolk. His nephew, John, forged a superb career as a doughty opening batsman for Surrey and England.
The Compton and Edrich stands - which have been joined by the Media Centre at the Lord's Nursery End, were built in 1991. Two tiered and open on the top, they are among the best places to watch the cricket, particularly when the sun is out.
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