Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Cricket makes rare decision not to sell own soul

In a rare move that will presumably horrify Giles 'Family Silver' Clarke, Lord's has ruled out any suggestion that it could sell naming rights to pay for its £400m Vision for Lord's redevelopment.

The redevelopment will include a larger museum, greater capacity, retractable floodlights and a vaguely Bondian (James, not Shane) underground cricket academy.

Speculation had grown that the vast amounts of money require could lead to the MCC flogging the naming rights to the ground or stands, a suggestion categorically ruled out.

The likes of Headingley Carnegie and the Brit Oval have led the way towards a football-style model when naming rights for grounds, teams and competitions are open to the highest bidder.

Sadly there is always a financial imperative cricket in this day and age, and some might say that it's good money for not very much.

But cricket is a traditional and, frankly, conservative sport that has done its best to resist the steady infection of hard cash – in the UK at least.

It's a hopeless battle, but it's nice to see that some things are sacrosanct. After all, hat cricket fan could stomach the Edrich Stand renamed the Samsung Jet stand? Not this one.