LONDON (AFP) Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) announced Monday that it would be sponsoring the Test and one-day series between Pakistan and Australia in England in July. This will be the first time MCC, the owners of London Lords Cricket Ground where the first of two Tests between Pakistan and Australia is due to start on July 13, has sponsored an international series in its 223-year history. The series comes at a time when Pakistan, who will also be playing a Test and one-day series against England this English season, has become a no-go area for international cricket following a terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore last year. MCCs Australian secretary, Keith Bradshaw, told a news conference in the Long Room of the Lords Pavilion on Monday: MCC is committed to the health of Test cricket, and by sponsoring the series and hosting the first Test, the club is supporting Pakistani cricket at a time when the countrys Test calendar has been decimated. We often speak about Tests being the pinnacle of the game - now we are acting to back up those words, the former Tasmania batsman added. Bradshaw refused to divulge how much money MCC was putting into the series, which also features a Test at Yorkshires Headingley ground in Leeds, citing commercial confidentiality but insisted it was a not for profit exercise as far as his club was concerned. We feel we are independent and to some extent the conscience of the game, Bradshaw said of MCC, which is still responsible for overseeing the games Laws or rules. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director of cricket operations Zakir Khan said: We thank the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and Cricket Australia for helping us out and making this Test and T20 series in England happen. It is nearly a century since Lords staged a neutral Test, during the 1912 triangular series involving England, Australia and South Africa. Two Australian batsman, Warren Bardsley and Charlie Kelleway, scored Test centuries against South Africa at Lords that year but their achievements were not marked on the grounds dressing room honours board. That was rectified Monday with the unveiling of a new honours board specially created for neutral Tests. MCC is keen to stage more such matches at Lords, at a time when Test cricket outside of England is struggling to attract crowds, and Bradshaw said: The last neutral Test was played here in 1912 and I hope we dont have to wait the best part of a century to play another one. Lords would welcome India v Pakistan test Lords chief executive Keith Bradshaw said on Monday he would welcome the opportunity to host a test between Asian powerhouses Pakistan and India at the headquarters of world cricket next year. Pakistan, who are forced to play home matches on neutral territory because of security fears, start a two-test series against Australia at Lords on July 13. The Marylebone Cricket Club, which owns Lords, is sponsoring the series. We have certainly thought about future matches but I cant say we have had any formal discussions, MCC secretary and chief executive Bradshaw told Reuters. India are touring here next year so the prospect of an India-Pakistan neutral Test (at Lords) is certainly an attractive one but its not one we have had any official talks on to this point. Its probably not for the MCC to be involved in the negotiations, I guess they would be between India, Pakistan and the ECB (Englands board), but I would say our doors are open and we would love to see that cricket come here. India were scheduled to tour Pakistan early last year but refused to travel because of security concerns. They were replaced by Sri Lanka who were victims of an armed attack in Lahore in which six of their players were wounded. The United Arab Emirates has been our only neutral venue to date but the Pakistan Cricket Board is looking for other venues, Pakistan Cricket Board marketing manager Tariq Hakim told Reuters. This particular series in England is a test case as a neutral venue and the indications are that we have succeeded and that we will use England in future matches also because of the huge expatriate crowds. The early indications are that the two test matches and Twenty20 internationals (against Australia) are going to be jam-packed. Asked about a Pakistan-India series in England, Hakim replied: The boards have to decide about that but, yes, there has been a willingness that they would love to see Pakistan play over here in England. Bradshaw said Lords had bid a high amount to stage the test but added he did not expect to lose money. The MCC, we feel, has a global role and its not just about the domestic game here in England, he said. I would like to think there would be more neutral tests played here in England and, of course, at the home of cricket at Lords. We are always willing to open our doors to neutral tests and we looked at how we can help cricket in Pakistan in a more tangible way so the decision to sponsor the series was twofold.