Home > Features >

England vs India 2014, 2nd Test: Father Time at Lord’s

England vs India, 2nd Test: Father Time at Lord’s
The Old Father Time weather vane at Lord’s © Getty Images

Above the clock and the scorer’s box, Father Time stands as a weather vane, one of the most recognisable icons of this most famous ground of the world. Arunabha Sengupta traces the history of the symbol of permanence on Lord’s.

Law 16.3 is perhaps the most metaphorical in the rulebook of the noble game. With eternal wisdom it states, “After the call of Time, the bails shall be removed from both wickets.”

On the most famous of all grounds, the wisdom is depicted by Old Father Time, the famed weather vane in the shape of time. The scythe is carried over a hunched shoulder while a thin shrivelled hand removes the bails from an ancient wicket.The weather vane stands at six feet six inches, while the Old Father is an archetypal little master, at the prescribed height of five feet four inches.

Former England fast bowler John Snow may not have been too fond of the original Indian little master Sunil Gavaskar. It was on this very ground that the two were involved in the infamous collision, leading to the exclusion of Snow from the England side for one Test. However, the rebel in Snow surrendered to the poet in him when he penned ‘Lord’s Test’, a poem which finds Old Father Time as the protagonist.

The vane was presented to Lord’s by Sir Herbert Baker, the architect of the Grand Stand in 1926. Father Time perched on the old Grand Stand. However, a couple of accidents which succeeded in pulling the shroud of impermanence over Father Time,the famed vane now finds its place on the Mound Stand.

The first accident was the Blitz. Like the ideal patriarch, Father Time spread himself over Lord’s and was the only casualty – becoming entangled in the steel cable of a barrage balloon. The rest of the War was spent in an uncomfortable cellar. After the atrocities, repair work was carried out with care and Father Time returned to Grandstand where he perched for the next 40-odd years.

Then in 1992, the old man was struck by lightning. The children’s television programme Blue Peter showed the repairs being made on the relic. After that, in 1996, the Grand Stand was demolished and rebuilt and Father Time was permanently located to the top of the Mound Stand, where he stands above the clock and the scorer’s box.

In many ways he resembles the grim reaper removing the bails. The Indian batsmen walking in to bat at Lord’s may do well not to dwell on his sinister presence on a ground where the team has traditionally struggled.

( is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry.He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Sachin Tendulkar express shock on Phillip Hughes’ death

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) must be disqualified, says Supreme Court

Virat Kohli mourns Phil Hughes’ death

Phil Hughes passes away: Twitter reactions

Australia Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 Pakistan Phil Hughes head injury South Africa Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Phillip Hughes dies after being hit by bouncer during Sheffield Shield clash in Sydney

Phillip Hughes death reignites age-old safety debate

Sachin Tendulkar express shock on Phillip Hughes’ death

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) must be disqualified, says Supreme Court

Virat Kohli mourns Phil Hughes’ death

Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

Moeen Ali becomes third fastest centurion for England in ODIs

Ishant Sharma — Is his current ODI form good enough to earn him a place in ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

The birth of Day Night cricket matches

Phillip Hughes head injury: Are helmets making batsmen complacent?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

विपाशा बासु: पिनकेथॉन महिलाओं को जागरूक करने का महत्वपूर्ण प्लैटफॉर्म

Is Ungli director Rensil D’Silva miffed with Kangana Ranaut?

Phillip Hughes dead: Chennai Super Kings (CSK), cricketers urge Sean Abbott to stay strong – Twitter Reactions

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Week by Week Pregnancy Guide – Week 28 of your pregnancy

Nicole Kidman: If I could, I would have four more children

Phil Hughes, Ayrton Senna, The Busby Babes and more – the most tragic sports deaths

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here