Making ourselves at home at Lord's

Lord's is as much a concept as a venue. Bacon and egg ties, the slope, the long room, the honours board and the ability to bring your own refreshments in. There's something special about seeing your team play at The Home Of Cricket.

New Zealand  has only won the single Lord's test, in 1999, but we remember the feats and the players who perform at THOC for a long time. Dion Nash, Mark Richardson, Martin Crowe and Richard Hadlee's come readily to mind (see an excellent run down of NZ bowlers and batsmen on the Lord's honours board at sportsfreak.co.nz) for making their mark at Lord's. Hadlee made himself at home there, taking 7 wickets in 1978, 6/80 in 1986 and swatting a very brisk 86 from 84 balls in his last innings there, shortly after being made a Knight. Even weird and wonderful moments like Chris Cairns bowling Chris Read have a bit more bite, because they happened at Lord's. 

Of course, the talk has been about tradition, honour and the chance to make a little bit of history for yourself and your team. Kane Williamson told the Herald On Sunday "You always want to play at Lord's but you start to understand the importance of playing here as you grow up." Despite the correct and proper focus on a team performance and winning this test and series against England, the chance to get on the honours board will be ticking in the back the BLACKCAPS minds.

One thing to like about Lord's is the willingness to move with the times. A 2001-style-design of its state-of-the-art media centre now seems right at home opposite the Pavilion, the home of the blazer and tie set. A master plan full of improvements was revealed recently, and tradition has gone fully online too - THOC has been tweeting, blogging and YouTubing up a storm this week.

It's just as important to the fans - from the Kiwis on their OEs packing chilly bins and taking the Metropolitan Line to St John's Wood, to those back home putting the kettle on and bagsing the remote and prime couch spots, all NZ cricket fan's eyes will be on Lord's tonight. If you're on Twitter, join us at @BLACKCAPS tonight, and for the whole England tour, we'd love to hear from you. Here's hoping the weather plays its part. After the drawn series at home, we're in for something special.  

Related - Simon Wood's excellent run down in the Herald has tips galore for making the most of your day out at Lord's, while Paul Ford has a love letter to the great ground over at Cricinfo.

With Thanks To

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