MCC is pleased to issue an update on the new Heyhoe Flint Gate at Lord’s Cricket Ground, announced last year to honour the late Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint, a true pioneer of women’s cricket.
The Club can now confirm that, subject to planning permission, the East Gate, on St John’s Wood Road and entry point for more than 150,000 spectators a season, as well as media, broadcasters and VIPs, will house the new gate.
The original plans for the Heyhoe Flint Gate to replace the North Gate on Wellington Road were amended after consultation with stakeholders who raised concerns about the impact on the leasehold land. However, the Club has been confident these concerns could have been addressed.
The new gate is in the process of being commissioned and will be unveiled at a special opening ceremony ahead of the South Africa Test Match in August. This means the gate will be operational in time for England Women’s One-Day International and the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy Final. The Club is proud to be hosting the showpiece final of the eight teams in the women’s elite domestic structure at Lord’s for the first time in September.
The East Gate at Lord’s allows entry to the Ground between the Mound Stand and the Edrich Stand, and when reconstructed as the Heyhoe Flint Gate, stands to become as iconic as the Grace Gate, situated further south-west on St John’s Wood Road. The Bicentenary Gate, opened in 1987 to celebrate MCC’s 200-year anniversary, stands between the two at the rear of the Mound Stand.
"The East Gate will now be an apt tribute to an incredible pioneer of our sport"
Guy Lavender, Chief Executive & Secretary of MCC, said: “Everyone at MCC is thrilled that we will have a permanent commemoration celebrating Rachael’s outstanding contribution to women’s cricket. The East Gate will now be an apt tribute to an incredible pioneer of our sport, who paved the way for many cricketers of their generation and generations to come.”
A trailblazer in women’s cricket, Heyhoe Flint made her England debut in 1960. She was hugely instrumental in setting up the Women’s World Cup, captaining England to victory in the inaugural tournament in 1973. During her career she played in 22 Test matches and 23 ODIs, in which she averaged 45.54 and 58.45 respectively. Her performance on the field led to her induction into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2010.
Heyhoe Flint was also a dedicated advocate for women’s inclusion in the game and pivotal in the campaign to allow women to become Members of MCC. With the support of Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie during his presidency of the Club, in September 1998 the Club accepted the first applications submitted by women.
The following year, Heyhoe Flint became one of the first female Members of the Club, alongside nine other women who were elected to Honorary Life Membership of MCC. In 2004 further history was made when she became the first woman to join the MCC Committee.