The MCC has been referred to in the past as the Woolsack of Cricket and Lords Ground as the Mecca of Cricket. The cricket ground at Lords was placed in Trust in 1866 for the benefit of the 18000 MCC MCC is a private Members Club with a public interest.
Sadly, the MCC is no longer perceived to be the influential guardian of our national sporting traditions and what used to be a powerful voice in the past is rarely heard even as a whimper today. As the onward march of commercialism gathers momentum the silence from the Long Room at Lords seems to denote implicit approval for the actions of the English Cricket Board.
It was in 1970 that the control and administration of English Cricket was removed from MCC by the actions of James Callaghan who was Home Secretary in the Wilson Government. Our national game was placed in the hands of the Cricket Council and the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB). Whilst things remained reasonably calm in the early days of the metamorphosis it did not take too long before personality clashes resulted in the regulating influence of the Cricket Council being destroyed. It is ironic that the TCCB has metamorphosed into the English Cricket Board today that has assumed the dual role of the administration AND the government of Cricket.
The crazy bidding process for Big Matches demanded of the Test Match Grounds and the lack of transparency surrounding it has resulted in a hefty financial loss being made by MCC and a significant rise in subscriptions as a result. Many TMG’s and other County Grounds are in severe financial difficulty in the present unfriendly economic climate.
One is left wondering how much longer we will have to wait before the penny drops and the whole structure and government of cricket in the UK will be forced into long overdue change?