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 Honorary Life Membership to The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu and former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff.
The pair have accepted invitations from the Club in recognition of their diverse achievements on and off the cricket field.
England legend Flintoff is the latest in a long line of cricketing greats to have joined the Club as an Honorary Life Member.
Dr. Tutu meanwhile was the first speaker to be drawn from outside international cricketing circles to deliver the prestigious MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture in 2008.
Flintoff, who retired from the game in 2010, joins the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath - as well as his former captain Michael Vaughan - as an Honorary MCC Member.
Flintoff’s contribution to the profile of English cricket, on an off the pitch, is unrivalled in recent years.
His last great performance came at Lord’s in 2009 when an inspirational second innings spell of 5-92 helped England to their first victory over Australia at the Home of Cricket in over 75 years.
The 33-year-old has been honoured by the Club previously, when he received the MCC Spirit of Cricket award in recognition of his sportsmanship in the 2005 Ashes series.
President of MCC Christopher Martin-Jenkins described Flintoff as a talisman of the game.
"Throughout his career he has demonstrated that you can play hard but fair - the two central tenets of the MCC Spirit of Cricket message - and we are thrilled that he has accepted the invitation." he said.
"Andrew was a talisman of the game and a hugely popular figure, and I very much look forward to seeing him at Lord’s in the future."
Flintoff added his delight at joining MCC: "Lord’s has provided so many wonderful memories for me over the years, in particular getting on the bowling Honours Board in the 2009 Ashes Test was a very special moment in my career.
"It will always be a place which lies close to my heart - not least for boasting the best food on the circuit - and I very much look forward to returning to the Home of Cricket for many years to come."
Activist & cricket lover
Dr. Tutu is widely known as a cricket enthusiast who first visited the Home of Cricket back in 1963.
He played an active role in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, rising to prominence in the 1980s.
His activism was rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and became the first black South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town two years later. He has been awarded over fifty honorary degrees from academic institutions all over the world.
Dr. Tutu’s Honorary Life Membership acknowledges his tireless work for truth and justice in all walks of life.
Martin-Jenkins described Dr. Tutu as an inspiring public figure with a bubbly charm.
He added: "Dr. Tutu has been a leader of South Africa's post-apartheid drive to prefer peace and reconciliation to the dreadful alternatives that might have followed under a president less forgiving than Nelson Mandela.
"Earlier he worked with the former England captain, the late Bishop of Liverpool, David Sheppard, to ensure that the Church in Cape Town would provide strong, non-violent opposition to apartheid.
"Last year on his retirement (aged 79!) he said that he hoped now to watch more cricket. He may now do so at Lord's whenever he pleases, and he will always be welcomed."