London: Lord's Cricket Ground has just under two weeks to get its outfield up to scratch for the third Test between England and South Africa following the end of the Olympic archery tournament. Despite it being the height of the English cricket season, the 225-year-old Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns Lord's, decided to let the iconic ground be used by Games chiefs as the Olympic archery venue.
But with the archery event concluding on August 3, Lord's has 12 days before reverting to its day job with the start of the final Test on August 16.
"Since 2003, when MCC first offered its support to the London Olympic bid, until the time when the final archery medal was won on Friday, the club has been immensely honoured to have been involved in the biggest sporting event in the world," said Derek Brewer, chief executive of MCC. "LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) has done a fantastic job in transforming Lord’s into the 'Home of Archery', and will help MCC in the next phase to convert it back to a cricket ground."
Along with the shooting area, temporary stands were erected on the outfield to bring spectators closer to the action.
"We have a very comprehensive plan running over the course of the next 13 days," said Brewer. "This has been drawn up by LOCOG and MCC, and the excellent teamwork demonstrated by the two organisations will ensure Lord's is restored for the staging of the England v South Africa Test Match. This plan covers both the decommissioning of LOCOG’s archery overlay as well as MCC’s preparations for the Test."