John Major, the former Prime Minister and current president of Surrey, has topped the poll in the elections for the next committee of MCC. He will serve a three-year term, starting on October 1.

The other new members of the committee are the recent Kent captain and England one-day representative Matthew Fleming, another old county captain in Nick Pocock (Hampshire), and David Faber, the former Conservative MP.

Tom Graveney, the current MCC president, said: "It is marvellous that these Members have put themselves forward to serve on the MCC committee. In particular, I welcome the news that Matthew Fleming has been elected to the committee for the first time. Although I shall not have the pleasure of working alongside them, as I step down as president on September 30, I am sure that they will all provide valuable support to my successor."

MCC have also awarded honorary life membership to seven former Test cricketers, including Jack Russell, the England wicketkeeper. Russell retired from first-class cricket last summer due to a persistent back injury following a career that included 16,861 runs, 1191 catches and 128 stumpings. His finest moment for England came at Johannesburg in 1995-96, when he claimed a world-record 11 catches and then batted for almost five hours with Michael Atherton to save the Test.

The other six players recognised for their service to the game are Wasim Akram, Mark Waugh and Michael Slater of Australia, the Sri Lankans Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva, and the former Zimbabwean captain Alistair Campbell.