Sunday, July 14, 2024

Members won’t be allowed to get close to cricketers walking through the Long Room: MCC

Soon after suspending three members for confronting members of the Australian team after the second Ashes Test, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has put in place measures to ensure that henceforth members in do not come close to the players walking in or out through the Lord’s Long Room.

Members at Lord’s will be ushered away from players when they enter and exit the ground via the Long Room, the MCC has decided after unruly patrons brought “shame” on the MCC with their behaviour during the second Ashes Test.

The new rules will come into effect from Sunday when the Australian women’s team plays against England in the women’s Ashes series. The MCC is expecting a packed crowd and seems to have taken this decision to avoid any untoward incident.

The decision comes after the MCC and its members came in for severe criticism after video footage from inside the Long Room showed the vitriol sent towards the Australians who were called “cheats” across multiple levels as they climbed the stairs following the controversial stumping of English batter Jonny Bairstow.

The MCC has also warned its members that a tougher stand will be taken if such incidents are repeated.

MCC chief executive Mark Lavender said the privilege of getting so close to players would be impacted for future games and they would instead be ushered away.

“We will be restricting members‘ access in and around the stairwells at times when the teams are coming on or off the pitch,” Lavender said. “During those periods, members will be required to wait at the ground floor or top floor level, with no access to either staircase.”

“The club will be taking a tougher stance on the general behaviour of members. We expect members not only to heed the words of our stewards in this regard but to police one another‘s behaviour.

“It is unacceptable for any of us to point the finger of blame at others unless we are willing to intervene ourselves when we see behaviours which fall short of what is expected of members,” Lavender said.

His comments came after MCC chair Bruce Carnegie-Brown, in a lengthy letter to the members, was hugely critical of the behaviour.

“The members shown on camera have brought shame on MCC,” Carnegie-Brown wrote. “Their actions hinder our efforts to promote the positive things our club does to promote and celebrate the game of cricket.

“Their actions inhibit our ability to carry out our role as guardians of the laws of cricket and the spirit of cricket.”

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