Male bastion falls September 28, 1998

MCC finally vote to allow women

The MCC has voted to allow women members for the first time in its 211-year history - 69.8% were in favour of the decision, just enough to meet the two thirds majority needed to change the rules. In favour: 69.8% (9,394 votes) Against: 30.2% (4,072 votes) 13,482 of the 17,250 members voted, 16 spoiled ballot papers.

Vice-captain of the England women's team, Barbera Daniels, was "highly-delighted", saying; "we all now carry on, and get on with promoting the game."

Despite many recent controversial changes in cricket, including the introduction of coloured clothing and third umpires, the MCC has up to now remained an exclusively male club and has been regarded by some as 'out of touch'. A vote in January on the issue produced 56% of members wanting to allow women to join - but not the two thirds majority required.

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 distributed to members during August suggested 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 was also proposed to reserve one of the bars in the pavillion for men only.

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 have their waiting time reduced to two years.