Two-thirds majority not reached August 25, 1998

MCC plan further vote on admitting women

The MCC announced in a press release on Tuesday morning that a further vote on allowing women to become members of the club will take place on September 28. It follows a defeated motion to enable women to join in February; although more than 50% were in favour, it was not a sufficient number to achieve the two-thirds majority required.

Speaking on BBC Radio, former England captain Rachael Heyhoe-Flint said she felt the current situation was discriminatory against "women who are genuinely interested in cricket and want to become members of, allegedly, the greatest club in the world".

Even though there have been many controversial changes in cricket, including the introduction of coloured clothing and third umpires, the MCC has remained a male dominated organisation and because of this it is reputed by some as being 'out of touch'. In June the MCC Committee commissioned a MORI questionnaire amongst the membership to try and gauge opinion.

In addition, the lack of female members was one of five major reasons the MCC was recently denied a lottery grant to assist in the construction of new buildings at Lord's. The proposals which are now being distributed to members suggest that up to 70 women should be allowed to become playing members of the club within the next two years, with the waiting list unaffected. It is also proposed to reserve one of the bars in the pavillion for men only.

Sarah Potter, a UK newspaper reporter and former England player, defended the proposals saying "Lord's has a responsibility to represent the sport."

Currently there are nearly 18,000 members and a waiting list to join the club of around 18 years. However the Committee has the right to appoint honourary and honourary life members. Those who play 10 games of cricket for MCC then the waiting time is reduced to two years.