London, Aug 12 (IANS) The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) President and former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara has inaugurated the new Compton and Edrich stands at the Lord’s Cricket Ground on Thursday. The stands, made at a cost of £53 million are opened for crowd in a Test match at Lords for the first time since 2019.
Sangakkara declared the stands officially open by cutting the ribbon of MCC colours, scarlet and gold. He was accompanied by MCC Chairman Gerald Corbett, MCC Chief Executive & Secretary Guy Lavender, and members of the project team who made the completion of the redevelopment possible during the past 18 months and the challenges raised by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am incredibly proud to have the honour of opening these magnificent new stands. One of the key focuses during my tenure as President was the development of Lord’s as a leading venue in world cricket, and it’s an incredible moment to see this ambition achieved and full of life with cricket supporters enjoying the stands,” said Sangakkara in a statement.
Those present included two generations of the Compton and Edrich families, of which the new stands continue to bear their respective names: Nick and Ben Compton, both cricketers and grandsons of the late Denis Compton, and Justin Edrich, son of Bill Edrich, along with his daughter, and Bill’s niece, Jean attending the opening ceremony.
“It’s wonderful that we are joined by family members of the great Denis Compton and Bill Edrich for this memorable occasion, two fantastic players and characters of the game who were a joy to watch. Their entertaining presence will be remembered through these stands for years to come and will no doubt be accompanied by many more historic moments on the field at Lord’s,” said Sangakkara.
The redeveloped Compton and Edrich stands have replaced the old structures with significantly improved facilities.
The stands now accommodate 11,600 spectators with a ground level shop, two pitch-facing restaurants, hospitality suites, washroom facilities, wheelchair-accessible spaces and lift access at all levels. The two stands are connected by a walkaway bridge and state-of-the-art canopy roofs.
“It’s been fascinating watching these stands evolve over the past two years. In what has been a challenging time for everybody, finally opening these stands fully to be enjoyed by cricket supporters for this Test match is a significant, and heart-warming, moment. There has been an incredible amount of hard work to achieve this milestone and I would like to thank everybody who has been involved in this project, which has truly been a team effort,” said MCC Chief Executive & Secretary Guy Lavender.