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Thursday, February 11, 1999 Published at 14:27 GMT

Sport: Cricket

Five maidens join Lord's

The MCC voted last year to end the ban on women members

Five women have been invited to join the Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord's after 211 years.

The MCC broke with tradition which banned women members in a vote last year.

It has now asked the five women cricketers to apply to the club to become full playing members.

[ image: There are 10,000 people on the MCC's waiting list]
There are 10,000 people on the MCC's waiting list
They will receive the same treatment as men, and will have to play a number of qualification matches and be nominated by three current members.

Lucy Mullens, 24, a PE teacher at Taunton School, Somerset, is one of the five. The MCC did not name the others.

Lucy started playing cricket at 18 while a pupil at the private school where she now teaches.

She said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have been asked to apply. I love cricket, so being asked to join is a great honour.

"It's an exciting time for women cricketers and hopefully I will be a bit of a role model."

The decision to allow women to join the MCC was taken after a ballot at a special meeting at Lord's last September.

A total of 69.8% of the 13,482 members who voted wanted to end the ban on women.

This was more than the two-thirds majority needed.

The controversial decision was rejected in February last year because the vote received only 56% support.

Women will have to apply for membership just like the men.

But the club, which has 17,250 members, plans to award honorary membership before the start of this season to 10 women who have contributed to cricket.

Even so, The MCC's female membership may take a while to build up. There are currently 10,000 people on the list to become ordinary members facing a wait of up to 20 year.

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