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Tuesday, August 25, 1998 Published at 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK


Sport: Cricket

MCC to vote on women members

The pavilion at Lord's: one of the last remaining male bastions


The MCC's Colin Ingleby Mackenzie discusses the forthcoming vote
The Marylebone Cricket Club, one of the last bastions of male exclusivity, has announced that it intends to ask its members to vote again on the question of membership for women.

In a statement on Tuesday, the MCC said a vote would be held on the matter next month.


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Despite several legal and political challenges the 211-year-old gentleman's club has never allowed women to join or watch cricket from the pavilion at Lord's.

In February, a majority of those members balloted voted to overturn the men-only rule but they failed to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary.

The MCC's leadership sent a questionnaire to members afterwards, trying to find out why so many resisted the change.

Sports Minister Tony Banks has made it clear that Lord's, the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club and a Test match venue for many years, would not get any National Lottery cash until the ban on women is lifted.

The woman who started the ball rolling


The BBC's Neil Bennett: Tradition could end within weeks
Former England women's cricket captain Rachel Heyhoe-Flint, who was the first woman to apply for membership, said she awaited the announcement with "baited breath".

She said she suspected the ban was being upheld by older MCC members who were "concerned about the invasion of the sanctity of Lord's and the pavilion."

She added: "But with the 18-year waiting list, many of the older ones would be dead before the first women joined anyway."





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