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Lord's and Ladies

Claire Taylor (l) strolls out to bat through the Long Room
Claire Taylor (l) strolls out to bat through the Long Room

Next week, as part of Lord's Bicentenary celebrations, MCC will host the inaugural MCC Women vs Rest of the World Women's fixture.

Lord’s has hosted a number of women’s international fixtures

The 50-over match, on Monday 19 May, promises to be a thrilling encounter, showcasing some of the most talented cricketers on the current international stage.

England's double Ashes-winning captain Charlotte Edwards will lead the MCC Women's XI. Her team, consisting of current and recent England stars, will include former England player Claire Taylor, whose 156 not out against India in 2006 is the highest individual score in a One Day International at Lord’s.

The RoW Women's IX, selected by the ICC, includes current Australia captain Meg Lanning, who recently led the 'Southern Stars' to a thumpingly emphatic victory over England in the 2014 ICC World T20 Final.

Women and Lord's

Women have played international cricket at Lord’s since August 1976, when England beat Australia by eight wickets in a one day international.

Back then, MCC was a men-only club and women (aside from the Queen and domestic staff) were not permitted in the Pavilion – the teams, therefore, had to remain within their dressing rooms while they were not on the field of play.

HeyoeFlintx300Fittingly, England's captain during that match, Rachael Heyhoe Flint, was one of the first women to join MCC when the Club voted to admit women Members in 1998.

Baroness Heyhoe Flint, who will manage the MCC Women’s XI in May’s, was given Honorary Life Membership in 1999 and was elected onto the Committee in 2004.

Her portrait is the first of an individual woman cricketer to hang in the Pavilion.

Modern era

Today, MCC is immensely supportive of women’s cricket at all levels.

In 2013, the MCC Young Cricketers squad included England players Tammy Beaumont, Amy Jones, Sarah Taylor (who will play for Edwards' MCC XI on 19 May) and Danni Wyatt and, to inspire the next generation of players, seven England women cricketers coached in state schools on the Club’s ‘Chance to Shine’ programme.

Since 1976, Lord’s has hosted a number of women’s international fixtures including the 1993 World Cup and 2009 ICC World T20 Finals (England beat New Zealand in both matches) and annual ODIs since 2008.

The Ground has yet to stage a women's Test match, however.

One of my ambitions as an MCC tour guide is to point out the names of women cricketers on the Test match Honours Boards in the Home and Visitors' Dressing Rooms.

I don’t kow what the schedule is looking like over the next few years, I'll have to wait and see.

Tickets for the MCC v Rest of the World women's match are still available, to buy tickets click here.

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