The MCC London Museum was established in the year 1883 and happens to be among the oldest sports museums anywhere in the world. Although the museum is choc-a-block with historic artifacts and cricketing memorabilia, the item that stands out is the Ashes urn which was presented to the victorious English Cricket team for its victory over the Australians in the 1882-83 Cricket series between the two countries.
Hon Ivo Bligh who was the captain of the English side in the first Ashes series was the rightful custodian of the Ashes urn.
But after his demise, his widow gifted the urn to MCC and ever since then the urn has been housed at the MCC Museum and most cricket fanatics from across the globe have visited this historic museum, primarily to have a glimpse of the Ashes urn.
- Apart from the legendary Ashes urn, the stuffed sparrow of Jehangir Khan is also a very popular exhibit along with a copy of Wisden, which was incidentally the constant companion of Jim, aka E.W. Swanton during his days of captivity in a Japanese prisoner’s camp during the World War II.
- The museum also showcases the life and times of one of Cricket’s all-time greats – W.G. Grace through some of his personal belongings, busts and memorabilia. Also on display at the Museum are cricket kits of some great and charismatic cricketers of the stature of Jack Hobbs, Victor Trumper, Donald Bradman and the irresistible Shane Warne.
In fact, collecting cricketing memorabilia has been an ongoing process for this distinguished cricket museum ever since its inception and every year newer items are added to the already rich collection of cricketing artifacts.
What is unique about the MCC Museum is that apart from permanent exhibits, a sophisticated theatre adjoining the museum showcases some of cricket’s most intriguing moments through video footage and a visit to the Brian Johnston Memorial Theatre is a must visit site if one desires to rekindle the glorious moments of cricket at cricket’s own Mecca.
With the advent of the modern era and with changing lifestyle, this historic cricket museum too has continuously evolved which is amply reflected in its innovative schemes like the commissioning of Cricketing photographs taken by MCC nominated photographers like Anthony Devlin and Sarah Williams or for that matter patronizing both promising and established artists to come up with stunning works of art which then finds its rightful place at museum alter.