London: Lord’s officials are worried that the prestigious ground could lose one of the two Tests it traditionally hosts each British summer.

The Marylebone Cricket Club — which runs Lord’s — has to apply to stage future Tests, like every other venue in England and Wales.

But despite being known as the home of cricket as well as the biggest and most lucrative venue, MCC officials are worried Lord’s will miss out as more venues receive Test status.

“Potentially, you have more grounds competing for a smaller number of Test matches,” MCC spokesman Iain Wilton said on Friday. “We want to make sure that in terms of facilities and capacity and economics we can put forward a very good case for Lord’s keeping its current share of the fixtures.”

New venues

But the England and Wales Cricket Board has shown it is willing to try new venues by giving Sophia Gardens in Cardiff one of the lucrative Ashes Tests in 2009.

That’s the first time the Welsh capital will stage a Test match, and it was chosen over established grounds such as Old Trafford, Chester-le-Street and the Rose Bowl.

“We’d like to think the facilities here are as good as anywhere if not better, but we need to make a very attractive case to the ECB for us to continue staging the number of major matches that we currently do,” Wilton said.

“That’s one of the reasons why we’re looking at capacity increases, which would allow more people into the ground for major matches.” — AP

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