Following a compromise reached between the MCC committee and a group of members who had opposed the removal of the “historic” games, which are among the longest-running annual sporting competitions in the world, Lord’s will continue to host Oxford vs. Cambridge and Eton vs. Harrow matches for the following five years.
Last year, the MCC made a U-turn when a number of members voiced their opposition to the intentions to “broaden the scope of the fixture list” and remove both.
Due to the uprising, the Historic Fixtures Group (HFG) was established in an effort to rally support for the games, which have been played at Lord’s since the early 19th century. A poll conducted by the club indicated that members were split on the matter, thus a vote on their future was set for the MCC’s annual general meeting, which will be held in May.
The HFG has agreed to support the extension, and it will be revisited in the winter of 2027 before a possible vote at the following AGM.
As part of the club’s “Road to Lord’s” plan, MCC will also invite the organizers of tournaments accessible to all schools and universities in the nation to hold their finals at the venue starting in 2024.
MCC chair Bruce Carnegie-Brown stated, “This announcement shows that we are listening to our members who want us to play our role in making cricket a game for all while respecting our history and traditions.
We anticipate welcoming new players and new audiences to Lord’s this season and in the years to come thanks to a number of initiatives in place for the 2023 season, including a variety of men’s and women’s matches, a streamlined membership application process, a rapidly expanding MCC Foundation, and community programs for under-represented cricketers.
HFG Chairman Michael Hall stated: “We firmly support this result. Everyone should congratulate Lord’s for finding space for both the historical games and the Path to Lord’s competition finals. Nobody could have predicted how divided the club would become over this matter, so the committee deserves praise for coming up with a workable solution that gives those differences a chance to mend while also leaving a sane review process in place. Now let’s all work together to make the Road to Lord’s and the historic fixtures a smashing success.”
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