Because of Doag I’ve been allowed into the buildings where the cricket thinking goes on. This is what I remembered of each.
The ECB offices are like that of a high class paper manufacturer. They have their awards scattered in a very tine reception area that was built to impress no one. The reception is actually tiny, and if you are waiting at the desk with more than one person or a bag, it’s actually hard for people to get around you. Other than the fact the office is in Lord’s, it doesn’t really feel all that crickety.
It could be the headquarters of a company with an owner who likes cricket rather than a cricket headquarters.
Although no could be disappointed seeing their Jack Russell painting.
Cricket Australia’s headquarters are instantly a bit more swish. They’ve tried to put a touch of wow factor in there. It’s got a boutique ad agency feel to it. The reception has enough room for an entire crowd of a shield match to hang out in. It feels like it’s been designed by the same person who designs the MCG members bar areas. Smart, casual and just a bit sporty.
The headquarters aren’t in the MCG, but just down the road far enough to lose any magic the ground holds.
It’s all a bit too planned out for me. A bit too much we like cricket, but we want to look good doing it. Like someone who gets a tailor made Richie Benaud jacket to wear to games.
The BCCI have a decent sized stumpy the elephant in their reception at Wankhede stadium. As shit as stumpy was, it’s nice to see him on a reception desk. The BCCI office is quite nice, it’s like a industrilists office with photons on every wall.
Just that these photos are brilliant. The Nawab with a sun hat on. Shastri with the world’s angriest eyebrows. Sachin with a photoshopped afro.
It’s all there. They even have a completely unnecessary 3d photo of the team winning the world cup, which is impossible to look at without getting a headache.
The conference room we went into was just covered at one end with photos of their captains. It was much like that room where proud parents put up every school photo of their kids. They’d run out of walls and just started putting players up in random spots, but no one was left out.
They even had time to put up a painting of Don Bradman and photos of Jardine and Grace.
I never saw the IPL level, where I am sure that they had stripper poles and dance tracks using commentators in a sexually suggestive way. But I still really liked it. It was impressive to look at, fairly new, not overly designed, but grand enough you still felt like you were in a place where people did real work.
Any place with that many cricket photos, including one that was quite clearly a tourist snap, is going to win the award for being my favourite cricket board building.
Australia was pretty but sort of lacking heart, England was gritty but utterly forgettable, but India had that cricket feeling combined with an office that looked like important people could meet you in it.