KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
Founded in 1787, Marylebone Cricket Club is the most active and famous cricket club in the world and owner of Lord's Cricket Ground - the Home of Cricket.
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MCC has awarded five former and current players Honorary Life Membership in recognition of their cricketing achievements.
In an Ashes year, it’s an Anglo-Australian list, featuring Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Michael Vaughan, Mark Butcher and Graeme Hick.
They all feature on the Lord’s Honours Board with the surprising exception of Warne, who took 19 wickets in his four Tests at the Home of Cricket, but never managed more than four in an innings.
However his total of 708 Test wickets enshrined him as one of the all-time greats, and Lord’s was delighted to witness his leg-breaks again in 2009 when his Rajasthan Royals became the first IPL side to play in England.
Warne said: "I am so honoured to be granted life membership by MCC, and was really surprised, but very thankful when it was offered to me.
"Lord’s is an amazing place with its history and tradition and to be given such a special privilege really has humbled me."
In contrast, his bowling partner McGrath excelled at Lord’s, picking up a five-wicket haul each time he played there and taking his 500th Test wicket during the 2005 Ashes series.
Butcher’s finest innings - an unbeaten match-winning 173 at Headingley in 2001 - came against an attack containing both Warne and McGrath.
For Vaughan, Lord’s was a happy hunting ground. He played 12 Tests at 'HQ' - more than at any other ground - and plundered six centuries, averaging over 50.
He has captained England to more Test victories that anyone else. He said: "It is a huge honour and one which I regard as right up there with all my on-field achievements. Lord’s is a place I have a love affair with, and I will be using my membership to visit on a regular basis!"
Hick was one of the most prodigious run scorers in all First-Class cricket. He made 136 First-Class centuries - he stands at eight on the all-time list - and scored 41,112 runs.
He was integral to Worcestershire’s cup success at Lord’s in the 1990s - scoring 88 in their 1991 Benson & Hedges Cup win over Lancashire and then 93 not out in their 1994 NatWest Trophy win against Warwickshire.
Honorary Life Membership is granted by the MCC Committee to cricketers, umpires and administrators in recognition of the service which they have given to the game, often over a very long period.
There are now more than 300 Honorary Life Members of MCC out of a total Full Membership of 18,000.