The entrance of Blades of Glory welcomes you with a summary of how a cricket bat has evolved over the last three centuries. This justifies the name of the gallery. Spread over around 4,000 sq ft, Blades of Glory displays rarest of rare of cricket memorabilia. The artifacts include personally autographed cricket-related items by the who’s who of the gentleman’s game.
Over the years, it is the willow-wielders who have stolen most of the limelight in the game of cricket. And the gallery lives up to its name by paying tribute to most of the batting greats. One of the most significant parts of the museum is the room dedicated to batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar. It features most of cricketing accessories Tendulkar has used over his long international career and 100 miniature bats dedicated to his ton of tons, each one of which bearing details of his 100 centuries in international cricket.
Besides, the gallery displays signed memorabilia by five triple centurions in Test cricket – Virender Sehwag, Michael Clarke, Mahela Jayawardene, Sanath Jayasuriay and Chris Gayle. And though the title of the gallery tilts in favour of batsmen’s achievements, the bowlers’contributions over the years have not been ignored.
Barring Fred Trueman, the former England paceman, and Malcolm Marshall,the great West Indies fast bowler who died of cancer at 41 in 1999, you will see autographed balls by each of the other 22 members of the 300-Test wickets’club. And when it comes to the 50-over format, each of the 11 members of the 300-wicket club in ODIs has a ball signed exclusively for the gallery.
And how can we forget that cricket, after all, is a team sport? The gallery displays numerous bats signed by various teams on special occasions. For instance, both India and England, who featured in the 2000th Test in the history of the game at Lord’s in July 2011, have signed a bat each; all the major participating teams in the 2011 World Cup, which was co-hosted b y India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; 10 bats signed by each of the members of India’s 10 World Cup campaigns, etc.