MCC Women play their first match

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When MCC changed its rules in 1998 to permit women to apply for membership, it didn’t mean an immediate change to the demographics of the Club.

With a waiting list usually in excess of two decades in length, it would not be until 2018 that the first women were elected as full Members by the conventional route. But for many cricketers there has always been a swifter route to membership - a playing Member can qualify by appearing in a minimum number of matches for MCC over a period of two consecutive years.

The first MCC Women’s team took the field against Surrey Under-21s at East Molesey on 11 May 1999 and included England Test players Wendy Watson and Debbie Stock, along with the writer Isabelle Duncan. Since that day, the programme of fixtures played by MCC Women has grown to form a significant part of the fixtures played by the Club each year, which total almost 500. MCC Women made their first overseas tour to the Netherlands in 2001 and have since visited locations worldwide including Trinidad & Tobago, China, Canada and the USA. Lord’s also hosts an annual Women’s Cricket Day. Playing Members now number around a quarter of the full Members who are women.