KOLKATA, 12 JUNE: Bizarre but true, the floodlights that light up the home of cricket, Lord’s, have only a temporary building licence even though the International Cricket Council is pushing for all Test venues to have mandatory artificial lighting. Reason? Day-night Tests with a pink ball is the International Cricket Council&’s next big step towards reviving the oldest version’s popularity. Interestingly, according to Abi Carter, deputy head of media & public affairs at the Marylebone Cricket Club, MCC has played a huge role in the development of the pink/orange ball. So why can’t Lord’s have permanent floodlights and can it theoretically put the home of cricket’s future in any sort of doubt?
Lord’s has housing tenements around it and residents have in the past objected to the installation of permanent lights around the ground. It has recently renewed its five-year licence, which gives them time till 2019 to find a solution.
Carter adds: "The reason the permission is temporary is that MCC is currently compiling a masterplan for the redevelopment of the ground, and the Westminster City Council, which grants the planning permission, wanted to see how the floodlights would be incorporated into the masterplan before granting any permanent permission.”
So big plans are afoot to refashion and modernise the most famous cricket ground of the world. The residents around the ground can still throw a spanner in the works as it is within their rights to object to any part of the planning permission. More reassuringly, Carter adds: ‘MCC has established a co-operative dialogue with its neighbours to try to mitigate any inconvenience the floodlights may cause.”