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Chief Executive Statement

Posted: 8 April 2020

An update from MCC

Thank you for visiting our website. I hope you and your family are safe and well at this very difficult time.

Lord’s has been closed now for a number of weeks and with April normally heralding the start of the season, I am writing to provide an update from MCC with respect to our Club, business and the place we love so much – the Home of Cricket.

Our closure period is currently until the end of May. During this period, all facilities at Lord’s are unavailable and no commercial or Club events or activities are taking place. This also sadly means no cricket. For so many cricket fans the start of the season is a special time; the County Championship, MCC matches, our annual Inter-Services T20 tournament and the MCC Young Cricketers’ first match of the season will all be missed.

However, an extension to this closure period is very likely and our decisions in this regard will continue to be informed by the UK Government’s advice. In particular, we expect the return to normality to take a much longer period of time and we are preparing, in collaboration with our ECB and First-Class County colleagues, for further closure extensions and a potential slow and phased return to full operations. We remain hopeful that matches at Lord’s will be played this year but unfortunately, for now, we cannot say when.

As one of the largest and most active cricket clubs in the world, our Members are our lifeblood and we are doing all we can to support them at this time. Like many, they will be missing their usual routines and enjoyment of participating in Club activities, whether that be playing or watching cricket and the other sports and games MCC is involved with, or the many social occasions we hold at Lord’s and elsewhere. We remain in regular contact with our Members as we look to find new ways to keep our sport in their lives.

We are also mindful of our responsibility as a sporting institution in our local community. We are maintaining a dialogue with Westminster City Council and the various hospitals based near Lord’s to help them utilise the Ground for the good of the community.

We are currently providing 75 parking spaces for the staff at Wellington Hospital, University College Hospital and the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth. This allows medics on the frontline to safely get to work without using public transport. Wellington Hospital is located directly opposite Lord’s and this proximity means we are also able to provide them with much-needed storage space. In addition, we have donated surplus food and bottled water to help homeless who are currently waiting for accommodation in Westminster.

The MCC Foundation recently launched an emergency appeal to provide meals for the most vulnerable residents in Westminster, in particular the 450 homeless living in temporary hostels. At time of issuing this, MCC Members and MCC Foundation supporters had already raised over £32,000, which will fund at least 9,600 meals.

We will continue to work closely within our local community our Foundation and with hospitals and organisations in the area to offer support as best we can during this period.

Finally, I would like to mention our staff. Their health, safety and wellbeing is our priority. The commitment of our entire workforce over the past few weeks has been superb, as they have responded to the challenges this fundamental shift in our daily lives brings. I'm incredibly proud of how they have pulled together as a team for the Club.

We miss cricket and we look forward to re-opening Lord’s. But for now, let’s stay at home and stay safe.

Yours sincerely,
Guy Lavender
Chief Executive & Secretary, MCC




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