Row over Lord's future pits former captains on opposing sides

Former England cricket captains David Gower and Mike Gatting were once team mates - now they're on opposing sides.

Computer generated image showing proposed development of Lord's

They are backing different redevelopment plans for Lords, which has been the home of cricket for more than 200 years.

Computer generated image showing proposed development of Lord's

Mike Gatting supports the Marylebone Cricket Club plan, which includes spending £194 million increasing the capacity by replacing five of the stands, adding new hospitality and improving the ground's appearance by 2032.

Gatting's once teammate David Gower is backing plans put forward by architect David Morley and Rifkind Associations, the property developer which owns the leasehold of land at the Nursery end.

Gower believes 97 flats should be built on the corners of the ground in return for £100 million going back into the club and £35m for facilities.

The flats would be a source of income guaranteeing the club is in the black when it rebuilds the ground. It should redevelop to maintain it's reputation as the finest ground in the world.

The MCC wouldn't lose control over the ground, all it has to do is take control of the project, and what I would hate to see happen is see the club struggling in the red because it didn't.

– David Gower

Gower's preferred plans would see the Wellington Road side of the ground being completely transformed, with car parking and a broadcast compound built underground, and the frontage opened up so fans could view the Nursery end of the ground from the street.

Gatting, however, says the MCC will keep more control over Lords, if they pay for the development themselves without the flats.

Why would you take the money now and lose a valuable bit of ground? We have a lease on the ground for 120 years, but if we did the other deal, in 60 years when perhaps we need to build more stands here we might not be in such a good position.

– Mike Gatting

The future of Lords has been debated for almost two decades but it's fate is expected to be decided next Wednesday when members vote at a Special General Meeting.