Clare Connor CBE has been named as the next President of MCC, with the appointment having been announced at today’s Annual General Meeting.
The former England captain will become the first female President in the Club’s 233-year history.
Her nomination was announced by current President Kumar Sangakkara via video from Sri Lanka. Connor will take up the post on 1 October 2021, pending approval by the Club’s Members, as Sangakkara has been invited to remain in the role for a second twelve-month tenure due to the impact of Covid-19 on the cricketing landscape.
Connor, who is currently the ECB’s Managing Director of Women’s Cricket, was made an Honorary Life Member of MCC in 2009.
Connor said of her appointment: “I am deeply honoured to be named the next President of MCC. Cricket has enriched my life so deeply already, and now it hands me this wonderful privilege.
"We often need to look back to see how far we’ve come. I made my first visit to Lord’s as a starry-eyed, cricket-obsessed 9 year-old girl at a time when women were not welcome in the Long Room. Times have changed.
"Now I find myself entrusted with this remarkable opportunity – the opportunity to play a part in helping MCC, cricket’s most influential club, to thrive and grow in an even more modern and inclusive future.
“MCC does wonderful work for communities in the UK and overseas. It stages the most uplifting events. It brings people together.
'"And as we take small steps to emerge from this uncertain and difficult time, we are going to need the power of sport and strong sporting organisations like MCC more than ever. I really am very proud to have been asked to be its next President.”
Clare made her England debut in 1995 at the age of 19, and took over the captaincy in 2000, leading England at Lord’s against Australia a year later. An all-rounder who bowled left-arm spin, Connor led England women to their first Ashes triumph in 42 years, overseeing a 1-0 series win in 2005.
The Ashes win was the culmination of her six-year stint as captain of her country, retiring from the game shortly thereafter. She was appointed as the ECB’s Head of Women’s Cricket in 2007, having previously taught English Literature and been Head of PR at Brighton College alongside her cricketing career.
Clare’s role at ECB expanded last year when she was made Managing Director of the women’s game. Aside from her ECB duties, Clare has been Chair of the ICC Women’s Cricket Committee since 2011. She has also served as a director on the board of Sussex Cricket and Sport England.
If Sangakkara’s two-year term is approved by Members at the AGM, Connor’s tenure will begin on 1 October 2021, and will conclude on 30 September 2022.
Former Sri Lankan international Sangakkara, who became the Club’s first non-British President when he assumed office in October 2019, will then stand down in September 2021.
"the Club has a significant role to play in cricket’s global appeal and with her influence, I am sure she will make a considerable contribution to MCC"
Sangakkara said: “I am thrilled that Clare has accepted the invitation to become the next President of MCC. The Club has a significant role to play in cricket’s global appeal and with her influence, I am sure she will make a considerable contribution to MCC.
“With the extended lead-in time until she takes office, she will have an important part to play as President Designate.”
Today’s AGM was the first in the Club’s history be held via an online platform, as Lord’s remains closed to its Members and the public due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.