Dubai: It’s now possible to own a piece of land at the historic Lord’s Cricket Ground, known as the “home of cricket”.
New Commonwealth, a consortium led by England cricket legend David Gower, is offering to the public shares of a slice of Lord’s, which is also the home of Marylebone Cricket Club, the custodian of laws of the game. Buyers will receive one blockchain-backed ownership share in the property situated at the Nursery End of Lord’s ground. The original parcel of land was acquired more than 200 years ago by cricket club’s ancestors.
Speaking to Gulf News in a phone interview from London, Gower said: “We think that there should be or could be enough takers around the world, cricket lovers spread across UK and Asia because the world is filled with cricket loving people in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, UAE and the Middle East. There could be many from the millions of Asians in America who might also be interested in it.”
The share will be issued in the form of Lord’s Token, printed by Royal Mint and will be listed on London’s Block Exchange — a huge market for online cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, enabling investors to buy and sell. Elaborating on the plan, Gower said: “So through modern technology, it will be registered in your name and will be inheritable by your children and their children — so eventually you will also have a literal token which will be a coin minted by the Royal Mint to confirm your share of the Lord’s Cricket Ground.”
Gower says that the revenue generated from it will help lift the facilities at the Lord’s and his effort is being backed by Keith Bradshaw, the former MCC Chief Executive, former England teammate Allan Lamb and West Indies legends Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd.
Value of the land
Asked what would be the possible return on such investment, Gower said: “We need to make the point clear that there will be no immediate returns of investment but remember, this is in Central London. The lowest current estimate of the value of that land is £230 million (Dh1.1 billion). If anyone came to their senses and said we can use this land properly it could be worth £900 million by today’s value.”
How has been the response is so far? Gower said: “It is still early as we barely launched this consortium. It is very much the start of a process of letting people know that it is available. We have a Test match at Lord’s next week and we need to decide what to do as we all will be at Lord’s next week in terms of letting people know this is going on.
“It is a question of awareness and putting it out there so people will slowly but surely first of all get to know about it and certainly get to understand what it is we talking about. It does rely on two things — the reputation of Lord’s in cricket and we intend to be incredibly friendly with MCC and people’s willingness to think it nice to be part of Lord’s.”
Gower, who has fond memories of playing in Lord’s, said: “We call Lord’s as the home of cricket but along with history, we need to move on with the times. In the past they moved pretty well. Years back there was something called a Vision for Lord’s [plan], which was an extraordinary broad thinking innovative set of ideas to improve Lord’s which was cancelled. It needs to move forward improve its facilities and it is important to look after the people that come to enjoy the day at Lord’s.”
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