Following the South Australian Government’s recent bid to buy part of Lord’s Cricket Ground we examine why the redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval should be used as a model to transform Lord’s from its tired state and back into one of the finest cricket grounds in the world.
In recent years the iconic Adelaide Oval has benefited from a A$535 million redevelopment, transforming it from not only one of the prettiest sporting facilities in the world, but to the ‘King of Cricket Grounds’.
The Adelaide Oval dates back to 1871, making it one of the oldest cricket grounds in the world. The design of the redevelopment ensured that the traditions of the grounds were maintained, including the heritage scoreboard at the northern end of the complex, flanked by the famous grassed northern mound and Moreton Bay fig trees. The distinctive lightweight roof for each stand is designed to enhance the seating within the Parklands and maintain key views towards the Cathedral past the scoreboard.
Weaving these iconic landmarks into the design of the new 50,000 seat state-of-the-art stadium is what puts the Adelaide Oval in the spotlight as one of the best sporting facilities in the world, and one that Lord’s could take some major learnings from.
The opportunity to be part of the Lord’s future came after the New Commonwealth Consortium, chaired by former England Captain David Gower, announced a major project to sell shares in the form of ‘tokens’ for the disused train tunnels which stretch the length of the nursery end of Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The initiative would give cricket enthusiasts around the world the chance to own part of this historic site but the Agent General of South Australia, Bill Muirhead, has recognized this as an opportunity to improve the future of the grounds with a South Australian led initiative.
It’s widely recognized that Lord’s Cricket Ground is in need of modernisation to bring it up to scratch with world class cricket stadiums such as the Adelaide Oval. Keith Bradshaw, CEO of the South Australian Cricket Association, has overseen the redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval. He would be an excellent choice to spearhead this South Australian project as he was formally the Secretary and Chief Executive of the Marylebone Cricket Club in London and is heavily involved in the New Commonwealth Consortium.
There is a clear cricket rivalry between England and Australia and while David Gower, who represents New Commonwealth, has said ‘Lord’s is safely in English hands’ it’s undoubtably given the MCC a reminder that they are being left behind as the Adelaide Oval continues to bowl the world over.