Lord's Diary: There's many a slip in the Cowdrey family - thanks to the Long Room test

It is safe to assume that the Long Room had never seen its like and that the gin-soaked dodderers who, in the popular imagination and perhaps in reality, used to inhabit the place creaked in their graves. There was Matthew Fleming, formerly of Kent and England and a current MCC committee member, throwing eggs. If anything could be said to represent what MCC have become, rather than what they once were (excepting the admission of women members, of course), this was it. Fleming, in a mini tour de force at the dinner following the Cowdrey Lecture the other night, wished to demonstrate that the Cowdrey genes lived on. By way of doing so he insisted that Lord Cowdrey's grandsons, Julius and Fabian, attempted to catch the eggs thrown some 10 feet across the floor. Cowdrey Snr was one of the finest slip catchers of his generation; Fleming wanted to check progress on the younger generation. The young brothers, sons of Chris Cowdrey, did not let him down. It was neither the distance nor the force with which the eggs were thrown that might have been disconcerting but the occasion. It brought the house down, though it was hard not to think that Gubby Allen, former MCC president and éminence grise at Lord's for decades, was looking down bemusedly. Fleming, one presumes, will one day be MCC president himself.

DOWN UNDER UP HERE

Among the guests at the Cowdrey dinner was Keith Bradshaw, who will become MCC's chief executive in October. Despite his formidable qualifications as an international accountant he was a surprising choice to succeed Roger Knight in that he is from Tasmania. Bradshaw had come over for the Test match and to case the joint before formally beginning his duties in October. He professed himself in awe of Lord's, and said that when he saw the job advertisement he immediately saw it as a dream position. It is perhaps all part of MCC's brave new look that they could appoint an Australian to the role. In some ways it is difficult to think that they would have done so even 10 years ago - though Gubby Allen was born in Australia.

THE SECRET SUCCESS

Nobody could deny that Lord's is well chronicled. Only last year, Stephen Fay, of this parish, produced an exemplary account of a year in the life of the ground, the organisation who run it and the great man who was the first former professional cricketer to be their president, Tom Graveney. If it is not quite that the book, Tom Graveney At Lord's, has sunk without trace, it is certainly the case that positive marketing has been conspicuously absent. Until this week, that is, with the season half over, when Fay and Graveney have been signing copies at Lord's. Robin Marlar, this year's president, agrees on the book's quality. He has stuck his head above the parapet too often before to instigate a public row, but he said: "The publicity area is one that's being looked at, because there is some disquiet over the marketing of this particular volume."

THE UNKNOWN LORD'S

There is, however, a Lord's that is virtually unknown. This is the second plot on which Thomas Lord alighted, between his first ground at Dorset Square and the present one where he moved in 1814. Between 1811 and 1813, however, Lord based himself on a site a few hundred yards to the east of the present ground. The prolific (and painstaking) cricket author and historian David Rayvern Allen has produced a fascinating booklet about the field known as Middle Ground and the quest to find an appropriate place for a plaque marking the spot. As a result of Rayvern Allen's searches, helped by Mured Qureshi, a cricket-loving member of London Assembly, whose idea it was, there will be three plaques. The first is on Chapel Bridge. Rayvern Allen will probably not be signing copies of the brochure, but it is a welcome addition to the canon.

THE SCIENCE OF BALLS

Determined to be in the vanguard, MCC are planning a project researching cricket balls. They intend to examine why balls of different colours behave in different ways under different conditions, and why some balls go soft. "We are in talks with London University scientists and hope to start work shortly," said the chief executive, Roger Knight. The project stems from the rumpus over graphite cricket bats earlier this year.

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing