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England Women in line for first Lord's fixture since World Cup victory

MCC in running to host first women's international since 2017

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
England celebrate after their famous victory at Lord's in 2017  •  AFP

England celebrate after their famous victory at Lord's in 2017  •  AFP

England could play their first international women's fixture at Lord's since the 2017 World Cup final this summer.
England's fixture list for the 2022 home season is yet to be confirmed but ESPNcricinfo understands that MCC have bid for a game to be staged at Lord's as part of a wider commitment to hosting more women's cricket at the ground.
Lord's hosted a women's ODI every year from 2008-14 but has only staged one in the last eight years, the sold-out World Cup final in 2017 which England won by nine runs thanks to Anya Shrubsole's six-wicket haul.
The MCC published an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) plan for 2022-23 this week, including a commitment to "enable more players, members and staff from a variety of backgrounds to be part of MCC" and a pledge to "drive increased women's and girls' attendance and engagement" through a marketing campaign if the bid for an international fixture is successful.
"MCC is committed to growing and supporting the women's game, which plays a central role in our cricket strategy," a spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo. "We are working closely with the ECB to be able to bring international women's cricket back to Lord's on an annual basis, giving more opportunities for women's players to play at the Home of Cricket."
The ECB have already confirmed that the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final will be held at Lord's on September 25, while London Spirit's 2022 fixtures in the Hundred are expected to be announced on Thursday.
Clare Connor, the ECB's managing director of women's cricket, started her tenure as MCC president in October and stated her intention to host more women's fixtures at the ground.
England have only played one home fixture at a men's Test ground - a 2018 ODI at Headingley - since the 2017 World Cup. There has been much discussion within the women's game about the merits of staging England fixtures at grounds of different sizes, but following record-breaking attendances in the inaugural season of the Hundred, there appears to be growing confidence that ticket sales would be strong enough to support some fixtures moving to larger venues.
England are already guaranteed to play at least three - and up to five - games at a major stadium next summer, with the Commonwealth Games due to be staged at Edgbaston from July 29-August 7. South Africa are set to tour before that tournament, with another bilateral series likely to follow the Hundred in September.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98