Gatting named MCC president
Former England captain Mike Gatting admits his appointment as the new president of the MCC is an 'amazing honour'.
Gatting succeeds former Sussex batsman Mike Griffith in the role for a 12-month term and will focus his efforts on redeveloping Lord's in the ground's 200th year.
"It is an amazing honour to have been asked to serve as president at the best cricket club in the world," said the 56-year-old.
"I'd like to pay tribute to Mike Griffith and thank him - not just for giving me this honour but, much more importantly, overseeing a significant and successful 12 months for the club which has seen the production of the (Lord's) Masterplan, a 10-year strategic plan and the receipt of the Royal Charter.
"Mike has done a terrific job, with his love of the game apparent in all he's done, and I and the rest of his fellow members owe him a debt of gratitude."
Gatting spent many of his playing days at Lord's while captain of Middlesex and is determined to oversee improvements at the famous venue when his tenure starts on Tuesday.
One set of redevelopment proposals have already been shelved and planning permission will be sought for a revised scheme that could lead to the start of work on the Warner Stand next autumn.
"Lord's is such a special place and we must make sure it continues to be the finest ground in the world," said Gatting.
"Ground development will be a major focus for MCC in the coming months and with Derek Brewer and Colin Maber overseeing the Masterplan, the club is on the right path to ensuring Lord's flourishes in the future.
"Another area of development for the club - and one which I am very passionate about - is community engagement.
"I grew up not far from Lord's in Willesden and while we run some fantastic projects abroad, there's an understanding that we also need to bring the benefits of Lord's to some people who need it closer to home.
"MCC now has a community engagement manager in place who is looking at the ways we can bring real improvements to the lives of our some of our deprived neighbours, and I intend to help all I can."
Gatting has served on several MCC committees and played 34 matches for the
representative club, which included captaining them against the Rest of the
World at Lord's during the club's bicentenary in 1987.