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Do you know what your body knows about vitamin C?

A few miles to the south stands Queen’s University, where I’ve shared ritual straw­berries and cream with the half-Protestant, half-Catholic graduating class of ’79. To the west I can see the Shankill Road, where I’ve pushed my way through noisy, cheerful Protestant crowds to buy a crisp Armagh ap­ple, or admire flower shops blazing with the roses for which the north is famous.Not far from apartments to rent in brussels  lies the Catholic-populated Falls Road, which can be an equally noisy, equally cheerful thoroughfare despite the constant undercurrent of violence.

Both streets funnel throngs of workers and shoppers into downtown Belfast, where everyone must submit to body searches at security posts that ring the business district. Inside the gates, where traffic is banned, new buildings are rising, old ones are being restored, and the streets and well-stocked stores are alive with Northern Irish voices, whose accent is a memorable blend of Scot­tish and Irish. If there is a way to distinguish Catholics from Protestants just by looking and listening, I never learned it.

The nights are different. From my window in accommodation prague I’ve heard the crash of bombs, the rattle of gunfire, and the constant moaning of police sirens. But I can also hear strident disco music pounding from the penthouse ballroom, which offers dancing “with the Charming Poppet of Your Choice.”

Poppets notwithstanding, my heart is won by a pretty Catholic girl from West Bel­fast, who has come in secret to meet her Prot­estant fiancé.

“Here’s me, born and bred in Belfast, and I was 22 before I ever met a Protestant boy,” she says. “We’re afraid to tell our families; they’d be destroyed with shame. We’ll have to go away to be married, to England or Canada. Anywhere, just so we can find a wee bit of peace.”

Peace. The word is on everyone’s lips to­day—if not in everyone’s hearts. Solutions abound, each one excluding others, like a fistful of stones.

Do you know what your body knows about vitamin C?  

Cut your arm. Burn your hand. Break a leg. None of these will heal properly without adequate vitamin C along with other essential nutrients. Nor will severe bruises or wounds heal properly.

Sore throat Earache, High fever All can begin with an infection that overwhelms your body’s natural defenses. Vitamin C, along with other essential nutrients, optimizes your body’s natural capacity to resist illness and helps keep your tissues healthy.

Up tight or up in smoke. With both acute stress and heavy cigarette smoking, the plasma levels of vitamin C in your blood may be lowered.

So, you could be robbing your body of this essential vitamin without even knowing it. Up your iron, Vitamin C increases your body’s ability to absorb iron from food when they are taken together. Iron is the most common deficiency in the diet, and may be related to a loss of energy.

There are many reasons why your body needs an adequate intake of vitamin C. Yet your body doesn’t make it. Vitamin C must come from food or vitamin supplements. So, eat a balanced diet. You can also look for fortified foods when you shop or take a supplement containing vitamin C every day just to be sure.

Tried and tested

Bra SOS

Our breasts are mostly made of fatty tissue. So when we lose weight, our body burns excess fat for energy and this removal of fat often causes the skin to sag. Check out if the diet using raspberry ketone results in skin sagging. In fact, many women say that, sadly, their boobs are the first thing to go when the pounds start dropping off. So your choice of bra becomes even more important — you’ll need to be refitted as you lose weight and you may want to change the style you wear to give you more lift and replace the lost volume.

Internal audit assistant Fiona Hampson, 43, from London, has lost 5st and reached her goal, lost, earlier this year. She says: ‘I joined Weight Watchers in September 20o9, when I realised there was still so much that I wanted to do with my life and I didn’t want to be hampered by my size. I hated not being able to truly enjoy fashion and started to resent that constant slight feeling of self-consciousness that I got from being larger. I also have lots of friends who love running, and I wanted to see what I was missing out on there.

‘I love the feeling of being slim and I’m now a keen runner. I’m far less tired and much more confident. I do find bra shopping somewhat traumatic, though. Since I’ve lost weight, I have lost some fullness in my bust, particularly at the top. I need bras that lift and enhance my breasts, but I don’t want them to look too obvious. I’ve also found that the sides of my chest area have begun to sag a little since I’ve lost weight. I’m not keen on padded bras as I don’t want my boobs to look bigger than they are. I’ve used various fitting services over the years. The last time I was measured before losing weight my bra size was 36F — more recently it was 3oF.’

We hit the high street with Fiona (who is wearing a 3oFF) to see how the major players size up against each other.

La Senza

Our fitter, Abir, estimates by sight that Fiona is a 34D and brings various styles to try. Not many offer the support and coverage Fiona wants, La Senza has three main lines (everyday basics, everyday luxury and glamour) and three styles (plunge, balconette and full coverage). Fiona is not looking to show off her chest, so we opt for full cover. The best we find is the Daisy Daze 0 (f 16, 32D-40GG), and the 34DD is the best fit for Fiona, The middle section between the cups is much thicker than a lot of La Senza’s styles, and gives good support, The sides are also more substantial, Fiona also liked the Microfibre Lucy e (E20, 32A-38FF), It gave a very smooth finish and pushed her in from the sides, but the smaller centerpiece made it a bit too plunging for her taste — a very flattering bra, though, Both styles are slightly padded to make the breasts look more rounded — great if they have lost a little volume, Fiona also liked the exceptionally pretty Georgia e (£28, 32A-38FF), which gave great support and shape, but was a little too elaborate to be worn under clothes — perfect for a special occasion, though!

Friendly, patient staff. Good value for money. A large range for those with smaller chests who want to enhance their size, NOT SO GOOD FOR Styles for more mature women, Some bras are not as supportive as they could be, Lucy Lace (£20, 32A- 40GG), a very pretty, full-lace version of the Lucy, gives great uplift, La Senza has also just launched the Triple Gel e (£25, 32A-38DD), which boosts the breasts by up to two cup sizes, At M&S, Fiona was advised and fitted by bra technologist Lynne. ‘Not every bra shape suits everybody, as each woman needs support in different areas, she said,’ You may even find that you are different sizes in different styles, It’s crucial to try on everything before you buy it’.

After measuring Lynne calculates that Fiona has a size 34 back and, on sight, estimates her cup size to be a D or an E, Nearly all of M&S’s support bras are padded,’it’s a popular misconception that padding adds bulk,’ said Lynne,’By smoothing the contours and creating a more uniform shape, it can actually make the breasts look smaller:

Lynne addressed Fiona’s desire for side support straight away with the Secret Support bra 0 (£20, 32DD-40G), which has hidden reinforced slings and a thicker back to smooth any back wings, Fiona liked the 32E’s feeling of tightness at the back She also liked the Perfect.

Fit Memory Foam DD+ bra (£20, 32DD­40G), which comes in white, black and a pretty light pink. The soft padded cups mould themselves perfectly to your breasts, giving you a great shape,

Lynne recommended the new Flatter Me e (£22, 32A-40D), a push-up style with deeper wings and additional boning to eliminate any side bulges and slim the silhouette: I wouldn’t have realised from looking at this how flattering it is, said Fiona.’ It gives me great uplift and it’s very comfy’ The attractive Limited Collection Rose Print Lace padded bra 0 (£16, 28D-38DD) also gave Fiona a lovely shape.

The sheer range of styles and types of support M&S leaves no stone unturned to find the right styles to flatter women of all shapes and sizes, It manages to make seriously supportive bras look pretty and not cumbersome, its prices are very reasonable too, NOT SO GOOD FOR Not much, really! Some it of ranges only go up to a DD so if you have 1 cup size, then your choice is narrower. BliST SELLERS Despite the overwhelming range of yilderwired support bras, it’s the non-wired To41 Support bra (L16, 34C-44G).

Protein

It’s the body’s building block — but it has vital roles even if you’re not pumping your pecs

Protein  is absolutely essential for life, playing an invaluable role in nearly all your body’s major functions, including repairing muscles and controlling hormones.

WHAT IS PROTEIN?

Proteins are big molecules made up of chains of amino acids, with each protein containing different amounts and combinations. There are about 23 amino acids, which can be mixed together to form hundreds of different proteins. While we’re able to make some of them ourselves, there are nine essential amino acids that our bodies can’t manufacture and are only available to us through our diet.

WHY DO WE NEED IT?

Protein represents 20 per cent of your body weight, on average. It’s present in every single cell in the body with muscles, organs, enzymes, skin and hair all largely made from protein. Our body tissues are constantly breaking down and re-growing and protein is the fuel that powers this process. The body doesn’t store protein like it does fat, so it needs continually replenished supplies. Amino acids are also needed to manufacture adrenaline and insulin and regulate the metabolism.

HOW MUCH DO I NEED?

Experts are undecided as to exactly how much we should be eating, although the current recommended daily intake for men aged 19-50 is 55.5g every day. You can work out exactly how much you need by multiplying your weight in kilograms by 0.75. Most people hit this target easily but if you do one hour or more of exercise a day, you will need to increase this by multiplying your body weight in kilograms by 1-1.2, depending on the intensity.

WHICH FOODS CONTAIN PROTEIN?

Red meat may symbolize protein in many people’s minds, but egg protein is actually the most readily-absorbed form and there are many other protein-rich foods. Nutritionists divide these foods into two groups: high-quality protein foods and low-quality. The former contain all nine of the essential amino acids needed by the body to repair and grow tissue. These include eggs, meat, fish, milk and dairy products. Low-quality protein provides some, but not all, of the essential amino acids in sufficient amounts to meet bodily requirements. This doesn’t mean that you have to eat meat or eggs because combinations of low-quality proteins, such as baked beans on toast, can supply all the essential amino acids. These combinations should contain two of these three groups: pulses, grains, and nuts and seeds.

CAN TOO MUCH BE DANGEROUS?

Excessive amounts of protein can leach calcium from the body and cause kidney damage. You won’t get bigger muscles simply by guzzling protein – you need to lift a lot of weight and eat from all the food groups too and take pure hcg drops supplements to build more muscles. Low-carb, high-protein diets fatigue the body, which cannibalizes muscle proteins, releasing ketones that then lead to health problems.

Your articles

All of which said, the date itself has never posed particular problems for me. I have difficulty with what I suppose should be called the pre-date. By this I mean that tricky time when you suspect a woman might find you attractive, but are by no means sure. Its a period in which it is very easy for a man to make a complete fool of himself ­or miss a golden opportunity. But then if women were easier to read, there’d be less mystery and fascination about them.

Keep up the good work, Sarah ­and by the way, are you single? Bob Sweeney, Leicester

Grow your own Thanks for your article, ‘Always read the label’ (November issue). I thought the comments on organic food were fair and even handed. If readers are concerned about the quality and freshness of vegetables they buy then a solution is at hand. Consider renting an allotment and grow your own! Depending on where you live allotments rents are usually cheap. Your local council will be able to give you details of who to contact. If a full-size plot is too big for you could share it with a neigh bour or friend or take on a smaller plot. Fresh veg is’not the only advantage. You get plenty of fresh air and a vigorous workout.

Also you will meet other allotment holders (not necessarily men these days!) who are usually more than happy to give advice, help and plants to get novice gardeners started. And you’ll know how your food has been grown and what’s gone into it. Way better than eating the pre-made food rich in cholesterol, this may cost you hyperlipidemia. Check out what is hyperlipidemia in medical terms and its dangerous consequences. Brendan Smith, Kettering.

Organic update  In your article ‘Always read the label’ there were some misleading points in the panel: ‘Should 1 go organic. First, the primary reason to eat organic produce is to live in an ecologically sustainable way. It means we are not damaging our planet in the way that non-organic farming does. Any other benefit is a bonus, In addition some of your statements are confused — I’ll set the record straight.

Letters at any topic related to running

ISLAND RACE RUNNING DAY

I run a small jogging group on Hayling Island, Hampshire, and I mean small – we are lucky to get five or six runners. We have a relatively small population so I am always looking for new ways to encourage people to join our group.

I saw that in the USA they have recently started a National Running Day, which first ran in June last year and is scheduled for June 2 this year (www.runningday.org). I suggest that we could do a similar event in the UK. Possibly a better date for over here would be August 12, which would celebrate the first recorded run in 49oBC of Pheidippides, the messenger who ran from Marathon to Athens without stopping. The UK National Running Day could take place on the first Sunday after this date. What do people think? John Bennett, Hayling Joggers, Hayling Island, Hants

MY GEL HELL

I completed the Stamford 30K last week and what a fine, well-organised event it was. Ignoring the fact that I’m getting slower, more and more I view races from closer to the rear than the front. Increasingly, I seem to follow trails of discarded sports gel wrappers, which is hardly acceptable in cities, but in the countryside I get quite angry. Surely it’s easy to take them home, or even deposit them at a drinks station. Just dropping them isn’t necessary, so don’t get us all a bad name.

Richard Durance,Southwell, Notts

BARE NECESSITIF

Your article ‘The Naked Truth About Barefoot Running’(RW April) prompted me to relate my own experience. During the Wycombe Half-Marathon five years ago I developed an extremely painful Achilles blister so, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to cast off the offending shoes and socks after four miles and run the remaining nine barefoot. Anyone who knows the race will be aware that the roads and pavements are poorly maintained and often impassable because of parked cars. So they may sympathise with the resultant blood blisters, the size of a fist. The upshot? I for one will not try barefoot running again. Steven Lodge, High Wycombe, Bucks

MOVED GOAL POST

I ran my first marathon three years ago in London. I had been running with a club for a few years, so I decided that my target was to break three hours. I was training so hard. I was also on a special cla diet which helped me lose the extra weight. Learn more about conjugated linoleic acid cla side effects. I’d been under 4o minutes for the 10K and done under 85 minutes for a half-marathon. On the day I was on target through 20 miles, but I got tired. I missed my target by nine minutes and six seconds. However, I’d taken the good advice from friends and RUNNER’S WORLD to set some targets that were not time orientated. The three-hour barrier slipped away with a little regret, but by then I was concentrating on finishing, not walking and enjoying the day three targets that I did manage. Steve Coates, Hull, E. Yorks

FROM: MARATHON PACE

When training for a marathon, how long should the marathon-paced run be? Madiot

If you run long distances at your marathon pace, the recovery time you’d need from it would wipe out the next week or so’s training. It’s far better to run slower and smarter. Connie

I don’t do any runs that are entirely at marathon pace. Instead I do the last section of some of my longest runs at that pace – something like 30 minutes at the end of a couple of 18-20 milers. Mister W. Maximum limit will depend on a number of things, including what the rest of your schedule looks like, how much mileage you’re doing, and where you want to fit it into the schedule. My longest run at marathon pace is about 12-13 miles. Philpu

Nutrition

Over the next four months, fuelling your body correctly will be crucial – the more miles you cover in training, the more energy you will need from your diet.

Your body’s preferred source of energy is carbohydrate, which it stores in your muscles and liver as glycogen. A reduction in your carbohydrate stores is known to be a major cause of fatigue during running. Good sources of carbohydrate include starchy foods such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, as well as simple carbohydrates, like honey, jelly and marmalade.

 

Hydration

Hydration is also key to your performance, especially during the winter months. Even when conditions are cold and wet your body will still lose significant amounts of fluid and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) through sweat. Making sure you start a run properly hydrated is therefore essential. Running in cold weather can result in occurring red marks on your skin, which can be a sign for a skin issues such as rosacea. Learn more about what is rosacea.

 

A proper hydration strategy should take into account the importance of maintaining your fluid levels before, during and after exercise. Studies have shown that many runners are dehydrated even before they start exercise, often as a result of not drinking enough during their daily lives.

Ideally, you should be aiming to drink:

 

•           200-500m1 of fluid immediately before training

•           125-150m1 of fluid every 15-20 minutes during training

•           500m1 (approx) of fluid after exercise, depending on sweat loss

Proper re-hydration after a run will enhance your recovery and help your body prepare more quickly and effectively for your next training session.

A simple check to see if you are not properly hydrated before or after a run is to monitor the colour of your urine. The darker the colour, the more dehydrated you are. Ideally, your urine should be a light, straw colour.

 

Lord’s Pitch Battle

But pride of place goes to a small red urn, less than six inches high, holding the Ashes for which Eng­land and Australia have fought symbolically since 1882, the year England was defeated for the first time on her own soil. The Sporting Times of the day published a mock obituary of English cricket, adding: “The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.” When an English team visited Australia the following year and avenged the de­feat, their captain was presented with the urn, filled with the ashes of a bail from the last match, to take back home—where it has remained, along with its embroidered velvet bag, since the urn itself is never competed for as a trophy.

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The museum contains portraits of such past MCC dignitaries as Lord Harris, Lord Hawke and the Earl of Bessborough, lending colour to the common belief that Lord’s was so called because of the MCC’s aristocratic members. In fact, it owes its name to a York­shireman of farming stock, cricket coach Thomas Lord, whose patrons founded the Marylebone Cricket Club in 1787 when he had a ground near the present Marylehone Sta­tion. Rapid development of central London twice forced him to pick up his turf and move before finally lay­ing it at the rural St. John’s Wood, where the MCC played its first match in 1814, and in 1866 bought the freehold of the ground for £18,333. The pavilion was enlarged, stands were built, and the Middlesex County Cricket Club invited to use Lord’s as their home ground, bring­ing with them a transfusion of first-class cricket.

Pitch Battle. From then on, Lord’s was the No. I ground. The first colonial cricketers to visit Eng­land had played there in 1868—Aborigines from Australia who gave exhibitions of boomerang throwing in the intervals. When the first Australian touring side of non-Aborigines came ten years later, a powerful MCC side was shattered at being defeated in only four and a half hours. As Lord’s historian Sir Pelham Warner has written : “Modern cricket may be said to date from this Australian invasion, and that it did us no end of good cannot be doubted.”

It was the beginning of cricket’s golden age, when the game was dominated by the mighty Dr. W. G. Grace, “a very big, powerful man, with a bristly black beard nearly to his waist, somewhat slanting eyes, great muscular arms, and huge hands.”

Off His Own Bat. Grace first played at Lord’s in 1864, just after his sixteenth birthday. By the time he retired from cricket in 1908, at the age of 6o, this formidable per­sonality was reckoned to have done more than any other player to popularize the game. During his career he made 54,896 runs-12,690 of them at Lord’s, where he hit 19 centuries and took 654 wickets for the MCC.

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In Grace’s lifetime—commemor­ated at the members’ entrance to Lord’s by the Grace Gates inscribed, “The Great Cricketer, 1848-1915″

He saw the ground grow in stature from the preserve of a small, socially exclusive club to the ack­nowledged centre of international cricket. When he captained Eng­land against Australia in 1896, The Times thundered against “the noisi­ness and rowdyism displayed as the crowds encroached on the ground” ascinated, perhaps, by the spec­tacle of a ball bowled clean through Grace’s beard.

The world of Test cricket has widened more than Grace could have imagined, the Australians being followed to Lord’s by teams from South Africa, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and the West Indies. Many other great players have won reputations on the ground he knew so well, most notably Don Bradman and Jack Hobbs, and, in recent times, Gary Sobers.

But “the Old Man” has al­ways had a very special place in the affections of cricket enthusiasts, who love to tell of the two MCC members watching a match from the Long Room in the summer of 1939. Neither spoke a word until a workman walked in, took the bust of W. G. Grace from its pedestal, put it in a hag and carried it off. Then one member turned to the other and said : “My God—that means war.”

Not that any such temporary up­set was allowed to interrupt the proper business of Lord’s. Although the RAF moved in to the ground, cricket continued and so does the interest in http://gnet.org/raspberry-ketones-natural-powerful-fat-burner.

Like any other English institu­tion, Lord’s remains unruffled by the winds of change. MCC mem­bers survived the abolition of the 156-year-old distinction that as amateurs they were by definition Gentlemen, while professionals were merely Players, when in 1962 everyone playing the game became simply cricketers. Even the aston­ishing sight of guitar-playing, calypso-singing West Indian sup­porters dancing across the ground in a carnival of celebration when their team won the Test last year caused no more than a twitching of mous­taches in the pavilion.

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Enjoyment, after all, is the sole and splendid purpose of this plea­sant place which is the focus of England’s national game. As Len Hutton, long the country’s most famous batsman, once rhapsodized : “Lord’s—and cricket again! The very thought is magical. It brings us with one cheerful and en­ormous leap into a world for which we have been waiting all winter.”

And as a little man in a large crowd said to MCC Secretary Billy Griffith, who asked sympathetically whether he could see anything of the game : “Not much. But I’m happy just to be at Lord’s.”

The heart of Lord’s

The heart of Lord’s is the ramb­ling, 84-year-old red brick pavilion dominating the ground. In its warren of offices work the staffs of the MCC, the National Cricket Association and the Test and County Cricket Board, administer­ing between them every aspect of the game.

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Taking Guard. The pavilion gives MCC members the privilege of watching cricket from 3,000 seats in its front terrace, balcony and roof gallery—target in r899 of the mightiest hit in Lord’s history, when Albert Trott drove a ball clean over the 66-foot roof. Even the wastepaper baskets are woven in MCC red and yellow in the pavilion, a male preserve where washroom doors are labelled OUT and NOT OUT, and where women are never admitted during a match—indeed, have only been allowed in at all since 1969. The MCC is firm about its priorities. “We’re delighted to sec them,” explains Billy Griffith, “but only after close of play.”

Every inch of the pavilion walls is covered with cricketing prints, portraits and photographs; there are bars, restaurants, a glass-fronted box for radio commentators and chang­ing rooms at the top of the broad staircase down which players troop to walk the too-foot Long Room and out on to the field.

The long room itself is lined with treasured relies, like a contemporary portraic of “Lumpy” Stevens—who in the days of two-stump wickets so often bowled through the gap that in 1776 a middle stump was added—and probably the oldest cricket ball in captivity—the very one with which William Ward scored 278 for the MCC against Norfolk 154 years ago.

Displays of feeling in the pavilion are as unthinkable as the removal of a collar and tie in a heatwave. The story is still told at Lord’s of the day the late C. Aubrey Smith, an eminent cricketer long before he be­came a Hollywood film star, was keeping up a forceful commentary on the play from his seat in the pavi­lion, and two crusty members be­came aware of the unaccustomed disturbance.

Asked one : “Who’s the fellow with the loud voice?”

The other studied the world-famous actor for a while. “Smith,” he said. “Used to play for Sussex.”

cricket

Such single-minded devotion to cricket is characteristic of Lord’s and of its 8o full-time staff mem­bers. Most often in the limelight arc the groundsmen whose one aim in life is to produce perfect pitches on the 63-by-3o-yard cricket “table,” despite problems unknown at Lord’s until this turbulent decade. In 1970 the table had to be ringed with barbed wire and floodlights to counter anti-apartheid demonstra­tors protesting agains a SOuth African tour. Kast August, when Test spectators were asked to leave following a bomb threat, thousands of them poured instead from the stands on to the ground, while the umpires stood firmly on the rain covers, hastily trundled out to protect the precious pitch from unauthorized boots.

For lesser games, head grounds­man Jim Fairbrother rings the changes on the 18 other pitches laid out on the table, but the Test pitch is never used for any other purpose. Encouraged in autumn with fresh seed and top dressing, cosseted through winter and spring, its ten days of special pre-Test treatment include microscopic inspection for the slightest dent or fleck of weed, and up to 3o hours of rolling.

Sticky Wicket. Despite genera­tions of care, few pieces of ground so small have caused so much con­troversy as Lord’s cricket table. Its pitches—waterlogged after heavy rain on the sloping, clay-bedded ground—were condemned as far back as the 186os, because treacher­ously rebounding balls made them the most dangerous in the country. Now, for the first time since the table was laid down 16o years ago, it is being stripped, levelled, raised some seven inches and re-turfed so that by the 1976 season Lord’s may at last have pitches more worthy of their setting.

cricket

The ghosts of cricket’s past heroes will be watching, for they are im­mortalized in a unique museum which, unlike the pavilion, is open to the public. It houses some of the earliest pictorial records of the game, such as the painting of a 1760 match at Kenfield Hall, near Canterbury : two-stump wicket, bewigged um­pires, under-arm bowling, curious curved bats. There is the ball off which W. G. Grace scored his hun­dredth century in first-class cricket in 1895, a rack of bats once used by England stalwarts like Sutcliffe, Hendren, Compton and Hutton, Don Bradman’s boots, Jack Hobbs’s cap. The Englishman’s fondness for eccentric feats is epitomized by the stuffed bird perched on a ball labelled : “This sparrow was killed at Lord’s by a ball bowled by Jehangir Khan (Cambridge Uni­versity) to T. N. Pearce (MCC) on July 3, 1936.”

Lord’s of Cricket

For enthusiasts the world dyer, this green and pleasant place enshrines England’s national game

SHELTERING in the pavilion at Lord’s on an early spring day when sleet pelted the deserted Test match pitch, England batsman Bill Edrich saw a member of a newly arrived Indian touring team walk for the first time on to the world’s most famous cricket ground.

 Test match pitch

“His teeth were chattering and his hair was plastered with snow,” Edrich recalls, “yet he carried his hat in his hand. He saw my surprise and said:  would have liked to take my shoes off, too. This place is holy to us.’”

In the zo countries round the world where the game is played, cricketers look on Lord’s as their spiritual home. Addicts dream of pilgrimage to London’s St. John’s Wood, and the green oasis of Lord’s that is now one of the most valuable sites in the metropolis, covering more than 12 acres in an area where building land is so scarce that a third of an acre could fetch a six-figure sum.

Behind its high, prison-like walls, Lord’s looks at first glance much like any other sports stadium, with tiered stands encircling a smooth expanse of grass. But to players, spectators and cricket writers alike this is “sacred turf,” its purpose made plain by the weather vane on top of the grandstand a silhouette
of Father Time, scythe shouldered, removing the bails from a set of stumps. Essayist Neville Cardus once described it as the Valhalla of cricketers: “Countless days, famous for great deeds, have come to a resting place at Lord’s.”

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Such a day was that of the Gillette Cup Final in September 1971, when by late afternoon it seemed certain that Kent, with 197 runs for six wickets and only 28 more needed to win, must triumph over Lanca­shire. Confident of victory, Asif Iqbal, Kent’s Pakistani star who had already scored 89 due to his coconut oil diet, hit out so hard that every head in the stands turned towards the boundary. But Lanca­shire captain Jackie Bond catapulted himself through the air, desperately reaching for the catch, then fell backwards and rolled over and over. When he came to rest, one arm was stretched high, triumphantly hold­ing the ball. It was so unexpected that there was sudden silence : then from 25,000 throats came a thun­derous roar.

How’s That! In that one electric moment, the entire course of the match changed. Only 14 more balls were needed to.take the remaining three Kent wickets for a mere three runs, and ecstatic Lancastrians swarmed on to the pitch to chair Jackie Bond for one of the greatest catches ever seen in first-class cricket.

The hope of seeing such feats draws big crowds to Lord’s, especi­ally for the five-day Tests—England plays India this month and Pakistan in August. On such occasions up to 30,000 spectators pack the ground, 8,000 of them choosing to sprawl on the grass round the boundary, as though Lord’s were some outsize village green; millions more watch at home on television. “For an English cricketer,” says Test veteran Colin Cowdrey, “there is no more dramatic moment than when there is a full house at Lord’s, you are next man in, and a wicket falls.”

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Lord’s is much more than a cricket ground where some 40 im­portant matches are played every season. It is also the world head­quarters of the game that in Britain alone has 50,000 clubs and 500,000 players. The Marylebone Cricket Club, whose home Lord’s has been since 1814, is internationally recog­nized as the custodian of cricket’s traditions and the sole arbiter of its laws, besides playing a major role in its administration. Yet the MCC has no royal charter, and the club’s powers are undefined by statute; its authority stands or falls by the good­will of cricketers everywhere.

The MCC has been described as a private club with a public function. Membership, once aristocratic and exclusive, is today open to anyone sponsored by two members ­though it still holds prestige en­ough for there to be a five-year waiting list.

Extra Cover. Among the i6,000 men entitled to wear the coveted red and yellow tie, only about 2,000 are playing members. “The vast majority,” says MCC secretary Billy Griffith,* “feel that by sup­porting the club they are supporting the game as a whole.” For their 412 a year subscription (L9 for members living outside London), they have free entry to Lord’s at any time. To the public, Test match prices range from 42.10 for a grandstand seat to 85p for standing room.