Cricket fans in for a treat as Lord's comes to Islington

Cricket fans are in for a big treat at the Business Design Centre, Islington between 25th and 28th February 2009. The M.C.C. are turning the Village Green area at the Stampex exhibition into a fantastic cricket display. It will feature displays never

Cricket fans are in for a big treat at the Business Design Centre, Islington between 25th and 28th February 2009. The M.C.C. are turning the "Village Green" area at the "Stampex" exhibition into a fantastic cricket display. It will feature displays never seen before in public and entry is free. Stampex organisers are understandably nervous, their last sports display was in March 1966 when the Jules Rimet Football World Cup was stolen.

At Lord's Cricket Ground, the "home of cricket", the MCC museum boasts the finest collection of cricket memorabilia in the world. The display will be a taste of its new "Going to the Cricket" exhibition that looks at cricket from the spectator's perspective. Tracing the history of the game from the 17th century to the "Ashes" up the India Premier League. Indian cricketers Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly are providing their autographed IPL kit.

Lord's tour guides will be on hand to answer questions and describe the display put together exclusively for Stampex.

A very special display item will be the bat with which W.G. Grace scored his 1000th Test run. It has been in Australia since 1896 when WG Grace presented it to the Australian captain. Both "Ashes" teams and Prime Minister Lloyd George signed the bat.

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It goes on display at Stampex prior to being auctioned later in the year so could be the first and last chance to see close up such a special piece of cricket history.

For stamp fans, the Cricket Philatelic Society will be mounting the most comprehensive a display of cricket stamps ever on public display. It comprises every cricket stamp issued around the world from 1900 to 2008.

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There will also be a display of original cricket stamp artwork.

Continuing the art theme will be Karen Neale, official MCC young artist, as the "artist in residence" for the duration of the show. With several London exhibitions to her credit, Karen is emerging as an important artist and her work becoming very collectable. Karen's paintings of Lord's Cricket Ground were used on the MCC 2006 and 2007 match day covers series from Chapman and Mitchell Covers. During Stampex she will be working on a special piece to be won by a lucky visitor to the show and signing her work for a few lucky visitors.

The official publishers of the MCC match day and commemorative covers Chapman and Mitchell Covers are leading the way in making cricket covers "must have" collectables for cricket fans. Many issues are sell-outs and command high post-issue prices. Stampex is a great chance to snap up the remaining stock before the new season starts. From the early days at Bletchley Park to world cricket has been a fascinating journey for them and their worldwide collectors.

The "Going to the Cricket" supplement published by Stamp and Coin Mart is a potted history of cricket. With articles by leading cricket historians and philatelists it is a piece of cricket memorabilia in its own right. No visitor to the show should leave without one, especially if signed by celebrities from the cricket world expected to make personal appearances.

For the first time ever in the UK there will be a display of autographed kit used by Indian Premier League players. This has been put together just for Stampex. A video display will show how the best players in the world play in a series that combines the glamour of "Bollywood" with the pace and excitement of 20/20 cricket. Indian cricket currently dominates the world stage so this is a unique opportunity to find out why.

The "Ashes" series, 20/20 World Cup and ICC centenary make 2009 an important year for English cricket and this will be a display not to be to missed.

Stampex Spring 2009 is at the Business Design Centre, Islington from 25th to 28th February. Doors open at 11.30 on 25th and close at 18.00. Other days it opens at 10.30. Closing time on 28th is 16.00. Entry is free with no tickets or booking required.

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