Michael Peart is indifferent to cricket,oblivious of its deities,but worships at its Mecca. Never fancied cricket,not anywhere close to converting,but I have turned into a massive fan of Lords, says the professional archer who has watched the home of English cricket transform into one of London 2012s landmark venues.
Unless Buckingham Palace was on offer,we could safely say we have the best venue in terms of enduring images that will stay in memory well after the Games. Lords will host the archery competition,in which world No. 1 and one of Indias brightest prospects,Deepika Kumari,will shoot tomorrow.
Peart,a former UK national recurve champion who has been roped in by the Games organisers to demystify modern-day bowmanship for sporting ignoramuses,says the news of archerys betrothal to the most hallowed turf in cricket had come as a massive surprise.
It was kept a secret till we (London) won the hosting rights (in 2005),and though we have hundreds of clubs in London,some of them as much steeped in tradition,Lords just brought out the massive wow factor, he recalls.
At Athens 2004,archery was held at the original Olympia stadium and archers have shot against other dramatic backdrops like the Sydney harbour,in the middle of a canal,and across water at Copenhagen. But nothing comes close to Lords, says Peart.
I think Indians will feel well at home here at Lords, he says. Deepika is a special talent… Everyones talking about the new rising power (India). But his personal favourite,he says,is Jayant Talukdar,the rockstar with long hair,shades and the loping gait of a big cat. Lords will be good for the cricket nations.
Australian legend Steve Waugh though,has a different perspective. More than archery coming to Lords,I think the Olympics will take Lords to the whole world.