ICEC Report – 'Cricket’s home is still predominantly a men’s home’: Lord’s slammed for lack of women’s Tests

The MCC has criticized the hosting of the annual Aden-Harrow match, but since 2017 the women’s ODI has been held separately.

Matte Roller

The Lords, since the ICEC report, have come under fire mainly along class and gender lines Good pictures

The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) was „alarmed” by the „truly shocking” fact that England women have never played a Test match at Lord’s, saying „the 'home of cricket’ is still a home. Mainly for men.”

In a 317-page report released on Tuesday, the ICEC highlighted the „public performance” of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the private members’ club that owns Lord’s, and recent decisions by the club’s members „sent a very public signal about the club’s values”.

In particular, the ICEC recommended that the annual Eton-Harrow and Oxford-Cambridge matches at Lord’s should no longer be held after 2023 and be replaced by a national under-15 state school finals day for boys and girls. and National Varsity Finals Day for men’s and women’s teams.

„We respect and honor many traditions of cricket in general, particularly Lord’s, but not all,” the commission wrote in its statement. „Some people no longer have a place in modern Britain.

„It is completely unacceptable that millions of children should be guaranteed the right to play at Lord’s every year, just as it is unacceptable that schoolboys from expensive and elite institutions play at Lord’s every year. The England Women’s National Team has yet to play a Test match.

„The Oxford and Cambridge rivalry has also had its time and should no longer be played at Lord’s. It sends a message of elitism, such as perpetuating the status of certain educational institutions that are only accessible to a minority of schoolchildren.”

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England Women have played just once at Lord’s since winning the 2017 World Cup final six years ago – but are set to return on July 8 for the third T20I of the ongoing Ashes series.

England men, by contrast, have played two Tests and at least one limited-overs international every year at Lord’s since 2000 – apart from the pandemic-hit summer of 2020.

The commission highlighted a successful attempt by MCC members to challenge the club’s committee’s decision to move „historic matches” from Lord’s as „an example of the obstacles placed in the way of those seeking to modernize the game”.

It added: „The MCC may be a private members’ club where some members may object to 'interference’ in their right to make their own decisions, but it is also a club that receives a significant amount of money from the general public through ticket sales for major matches with all the publicity and prestige.”

„Those who argue for the continuation of historical matches do not seem to understand the damage they are doing to the reputation of the MCC and Lord’s in the public imagination. The elite and the wider population and cricketers are unrepresented.

„As the game strives to become more inclusive, it must be clear that decisions like this in the 'home of cricket’ are more damaging than some realise.”

Lord’s was singled out as the only major venue in the country not to allow the use of musical instruments, with the commission citing the ban as an example of „the way officials have tried to sanitize the atmosphere at the ground”. had a disproportionate impact on ethnically diverse societies, particularly Caribbean societies”.

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MCC has been contacted for comment.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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