THE LARA EXHIBITION

Brian Lara sees a model which depicts in detail his world record 400 not out in Antigua against England in 2004 and points out that one of the sixes is shown on the wrong side of the ground. Lord's being Lord's this detail is corrected in 24 hours. Over to Ted Corbett.

May 14: Alan Ball's death reminds me of the 1960s when, as he wrote just before his death, "every street in the country has a footballer living there" in contrast to these days when footballers are rich and remote from their fans. I live 800 yards from the sweet shop run by the York City centre half Barry Jackson who tells me the inside story of the corruption scandal of the time. "My mate, the other centre half, is in it, no doubt," he says. "We have a code, right. I go up for the ball and he shouts "left" or "right" and I head it down to him and he kicks it away. Then in one match he shouts "left" and goes right and they score — not once but twice in a few minutes. I ask him about it and he says I didn't hear properly. It's not until the rest of the story comes out that I realise what he is up to." Barry is 6ft 4in, red-haired and very much a man of York. That is to say that although I buy my kids sweets there often he never offers them a single toffee.

May 15: As we note before, the best of cricket writing comes from the anecdotes. How about this one? Alex Bannister, a reporter with the Daily Mail who dies this year aged 92, is on a troubled tour in West Indies in 1953-4 when the manager is Charles Palmer, a kindly soul. After a particularly difficult day Palmer is resting in his room when Bannister arrives with the copy he is about to send. He asks Palmer to read it and make a comment. Palmer reads what he considers to be the most sensational, exaggerated and hyped account of the day's proceedings. He declines to make any comment because he feels he must not interfere with the way a reporter writes his story. After Bannister leaves Palmer thinks about what he reads and eventually goes to Bannister's room and says: "I don't think that piece will do either of us any good." Bannister immediately tears up the story and afterwards Palmer spends many years recounting the anecdote and boasting: "That is the sort of reporter you want." What he never knows until the day he dies is that it is all a joke. Bannister even begs people not to tell Palmer the truth. Bannister is an amusing man who also writes Len Hutton's autobiography. Hutton is notoriously difficult to interview so I ask Bannister how he is getting on. "Getting words from Hutton," he says, "is like dredging for gold in the Grand Union Canal."

May 16: Tom Graveney, 80 later in the year, walks slowly across the lobby of the main London cricket hotel on his way to Lord's just over the road and pauses to regret the passing of Les Jackson. "He used to hit me just here," he says pointing to the spot that pads could not protect on the inside of his right thigh. "Not just once but half a dozen times in every innings." A lot of Tom's old adversaries have gone in the past month: Arthur Milton, the last of the athletes to win England honours at cricket and football; Tom Cartwright, the great medium pace bowler; and Jackson who ought to win more England caps. Unfortunately he is a contemporary of Alec Bedser and Fred Trueman and has an action that causes at least one chairman of selectors to snort in disgust. Cartwright makes the most unexpected departure because he is only 61 and still in and around cricket all the time, complaining that no modern bowler has "proper control of the ball." Graveney smiles at the memory. "He has the greatest accuracy of them all and a sharp pace to go with it," he says.

May 17: The exhibition to mark Brian Lara's contribution to cricket is staged in the museum at Lord's as the photographic show put on by Patrick Eager, the greatest of all cricket photographers, comes to an end six months late. The Lara exhibition reflects the man; some people love it, some hate it. Lara has only one doubt. He sees a model which depicts in detail his world record 400 not out in Antigua against England in 2004 and points out that one of the sixes is shown on the wrong side of the ground. Lord's being Lord's this detail is corrected in 24 hours.

May 18: Wendy Wimbush, who scores in the press box for the last 27 years, retires or, to be more blunt about it, is retired, at an age slightly after the date on which her state pension is due. She turns up at Lord's for the last time, is given an engraved fruit bowl as a reminder of her days in the sun and tells us she will concentrate on her vegetable patch, scoring for the radio people at Canterbury and pottering around Kent seeing her friends. The notice telling her "your services are no longer required" comes by email, three weeks before she is due to score the first Test and contains no thanks for her work, no reference to the care with which she gave us all the data and ignores the fact that she does a whole bunch of preparation for the new season. I feel very angry on her behalf and I trust that whoever organises her departure hears in strong terms that he is at fault.

May 19: Courtney Walsh joins Ian Bishop in the Channel Five commentary box and the pair of them stand either side of the doorway looking for all the world like two baby redwood trees. "Show us how high your arm is," demands Simon Hughes who bowled quickly for Middlesex and Durham from what must have seemed to be half their height. Big Courtney reaches up and casually touches the ceiling. "What chance do I have?" sighs Hughes. "I am once in the showers with Curtly Ambrose, feeling like a dwarf in a forest. So I ask him `How can I grow as tall as you?' and he says: `Take a year or two.'"

May 20: Sometime in the next few years there are likely to be big changes at Lord's. Cafes, restaurants, flats; an entrance from the road outside to a new venue for the museum. In other words a 21st century ideal for the 18th century ground which repeatedly updates itself over the years. Not everyone finds the idea attractive, including a television executive whose fear is that his trucks will have no space in the new, more crowded ground. A Lord's official laughingly suggests he may have to park the trucks four miles down the road at the new Wembley — where Chelsea beat Manchester United on the Saturday of the first Test — and run cables. Maybe by that time the technology will be good enough to do without cables or trucks.