Derek Brewer has made a rapid impression since swapping Trent Bridge for Lord's to become the 15th chief executive and secretary of the Marylebone Cricket Club. He dismisses the suggestion that he received a hospital pass when asked to come up with a solution to the bitter wrangling over how best to redevelop the game's St John's Wood cathedral at the annual general meeting that marked his official takeover this month, and stresses that he has already turned his mind to the bidding process for the next round of international matches from 2017.
Lord's was not initially due to stage a Test in this three-match West Indies series. This week's game had been allocated to Cardiff before Glamorgan's financial problems prompted a rethink, and the Swalec Stadium was instead awarded one of the two Tests against New Zealand that will preface the Ashes next summer. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but there seems every chance that game could also be switched from the Swalec to Lord's, with the situation thrown back into flux by the recent decision of the International Cricket Council to scrap the proposed World Test Championship that was to have been held at Edgbaston, The Oval and Lord's in 2013.
England will host the last ICC Champions Trophy instead, and it seems increasingly likely that Cardiff could join Edgbaston in hosting several of those 50-over fixtures, leaving the way clear for Lord's to snap up one of the two New Zealand Tests.
"The club is in advanced discussions regarding a New Zealand Test match," said Brewer, a 54-year-old former banker and off-spinner who has been an MCC member since 1976 and played a few games for Warwickshire Second XI. "We have the platinum package through until 2016, but thereafter we'll be in this whole game process just like every other venue.
"I've always been an advocate of two Test matches at Lord's every year, and I'm not just saying that because I'm now sitting here - I used to say it when I was at Nottinghamshire, with the addition that Trent Bridge should also receive one. We want to secure another strong programme of matches for Lord's between 2017 and 2020. To do that we need to make sure the experience for people coming to Lord's is as good as it can possibly be. It is such a special place."
Certainly this week's Test should provide a more rousing start to the international summer than last year's damp squib in Cardiff, where Sri Lanka contrived to lose a rain-ruined match in front of a handful of spectators on the last day. Ticket sales are strong for the first four days, with Saturday sold out and Friday not far off.
But how will the pitch play? "I'll take all those questions," Brewer answered. "Coming from a banking background I had never line-managed a groundsman before, but one of the things I learned in my years at Trent Bridge was that those guys are under so much pressure, and they've got quite enough on their plate without having to handle the media as well. I don't think that's a great idea because it leaves them hostage to fortune. Mick Hunt is an outstanding groundsman. He's acknowledged that conditions have been very difficult because of the weather, but he will produce the very best pitch possible."
Article sourced from the :- Guardian