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Saturday, April 25, 1998 Published at 01:56 GMT 02:56 UK

Sport: Cricket

Club urged to vote again on women
image: [ Lords cricket ground - home of the Marylebone Cricket Club ]
Lords cricket ground - home of the Marylebone Cricket Club

England's most prestigious cricket club is being urged to hold a new vote on admitting women after it was disclosed that information about the majority required was not given to members.

A proposal to allow women to become members of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) was rejected in February because it did not win the two-thirds majority that was said to be required.

But it has been disclosed that prior to the vote, the MCC's legal advisers told the committee that a simple majority would be enough.

The committee chose not to reveal this information to its members.

Some 6,969 members voted for the ban to be lifted and 5,538 voted against.

Sports Minister Tony Banks is calling for a new ballot to be held.

"If the legal advice to the committee was that they didn't need a two-third majority but a simple majority - and they achieved a simple majority - then clearly the majority were cheated," he said.

"If I was in that simple majority I of course would now be challenging this in the courts, and I suspect somebody will."

In a statement, the MCC said they had made a "logical" and "honourable" decision to require a two-thirds majority.

They said this was the case in a similar ballot in 1991 and that change may have been "prejudicial" to the vote.


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