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Weird and wonderful objects in the MCC Museum

Shane Warne donates his plaster cast to MCC Curator Adam Chadwick
Shane Warne donates his plaster cast to MCC Curator Adam Chadwick

During the England v India Investec Test at Lord's in July 2014, Australia legend Shane Warne signed and donated a plaster cast from his broken hand to the MCC Museum.

Warne sustained the injury whilst playing in the MCC v Rest of the World Lord’s Bicentenary match on 5 July.

The plaster cast adds to the already obscure and fascinating collection of objects in the MCC Museum at the Home of Cricket, gathered over 200 years of cricket at the world famous Ground.

Here are the top five most bizarre exhibits which continue to attract cricket fans from around the world to come on a Lord’s tour.

A stuffed sparrow from 1936

Cricket can be a dangerous game, and it turned out to be fatal for one unlucky sparrow that was minding its own business during a match between England and Pakistan in 1936.

A delivery from Pakistan bowler Jahangir Khan was so well directed it careered straight into the bird, bringing it to the turf instantly.

MCC Secretary at the time, Col. Rait-Kerr, thought it would be a good idea to have the bird stuffed and, to add insult to injury, mounted it on the ‘killer’ ball!

Bob Wyatt's hip joint

Former England captain Wyatt had numerous hip problems throughout his career and his hip replacement was donated to the Museum by the orthapaedic surgeon who both inserted and removed it.

The surgeon, who is also an MCC Member, donated the replacement during the recent Test match against India.

Wyatt captained England in 16 Test matches during the 1930s and was the first captain to employ the controversial Bodyline tactic against Australia.

A selection of colourful 'abdominal protectors'

The most important piece of equipment for any man playing cricket is the ‘abdominal protector’ – more commonly known as a box.

Though you may think these items are a mere functional necessity, MCC is in possession of some garishly coloured boxes, ranging from shades of bright orange to blancmange pink!

A World Series boob tube from 1978

In 1977, Australian Kerry Packer organised a breakaway professional cricket competition which ran in opposition to international cricket.

The initiative changed the game in many ways – not least through its new approach to marketing the game of cricket through merchandising.

The ‘boob tube’ is not typically something that would have been associated with cricket before the World Series, and MCC acquired one of the first produced, complete with the unmistakable World Series Cricket brand, and it now sits on a mannequin in the Museum.

Shane Warne's signed plaster cast

In the Lord’s Bicentenary celebration match on 5th July, Warne captained a Rest of the World XI against Sachin Tendulkar’s MCC team.

With his side batting first, Warne came in to bat with just two overs left, and was pinned by a first ball beamer from former Australia teammate Brett Lee.

The chest-high delivery struck Warne flush on the hand, broke it and prevented him from bowling in the second innings.

The 44-year-old donated his cast to the Museum while at the second Investec Test at Lord’s between England and India.

To find out more about the MCC Museum and how to come on a Tour of Lord's, click here.

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