MCC: Mike Gatting to be president as redevelopment announced

Mike Gatting

Former England captain Mike Gatting has been named as the new president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

Gatting, 55, will begin his one-year term on 1 October, with the MCC set to celebrate the bicentenary of the present Lord's ground in 2014.

The MCC, which retains responsibility for the game's laws as well as owning Lord's, has also announced a "Masterplan" for its redevelopment.

The plan, to be completed in 2027, has a projected cost of £180m-£200m.

The proposed redevelopment has not been without controversy, with former Prime Minister Sir John Major resigning from the MCC committee in December 2011 because of "fundamental disagreements" over the direction of the MCC's "Vision for Lord's".

The £90m first phase, funded from the club's own resources, will include the rebuilding of the Warner Stand by 2016 and the Tavern and Allen Stands in time for the 2019 World Cup - hosted by England - which will increase the capacity of Lord's by 2,700 to 32,000.

From 2020, the remaining phases - paid for by "a combination of MCC funds and sensible levels of borrowing" - will include the removal of the Nursery Pavilion and the resiting of the Nursery Ground towards the Wellington Road, and a new "food street" behind the Compton and Edrich Stands, which will be redeveloped in 2027.

The MCC will make planning applications on a stage by stage basis, with the first - covering the new Warner Stand and a new members' entrance behind the pavilion on Grove End Road - to be submitted to Westminster City Council at the end of 2013, before seeking approval from members in the spring of 2014.

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Gatting on his Ashes success down under

Colin Maber, chairman of the MCC's ground working party and estates committee, explained: "The Masterplan has been designed to provide a framework within which ground development over the next 15 years can be set. The phased approach allows room for flexibility and evolution.

"Our key principles - on the absolute need to retain the size of both grounds, on keeping Lord's as a ground rather than making it a stadium, on the importance of green open spaces, and on enhancing the experience for every visitor - will underpin all we do."

By tradition, each MCC president nominates his own successor. Chosen by current president Mike Griffith, Gatting joins the ranks of distinguished former cricketers to hold the role, including Mike Brearley - one of his predecessors as both England and Middlesex skipper.

Gatting, who scored 4,409 runs in 79 Tests including 23 as captain, became the last England skipper for 18 years to lift the Ashes when he led them to victory in Australia in 1986-87, and also captained them to the World Cup final later that year.

He has spent nearly his entire adult life based at Lord's, with a 23-year first-class playing career at Middlesex preceding a spell as the county's coach.

Since his retirement from the first-class game in 1998, he was briefly an England selector and coach, served as president of the Professional Cricketers' Association and in 2007 became the England & Wales Cricket Board's managing director of partnerships, overseeing the first-class and recreational games.

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