Daily Mail - - Sports Newspaper Of The Year - By LAWRENCE BOOTH

MCC, guardians of the spirit of cricket and its laws, have tight­ened the code of con­duct for their 23,000-strong mem­ber­ship af­ter it emerged a woman was as­saulted in the Lord’s pav­il­ion last sum­mer and a man sub­jected to anti-semitic abuse. The sto­ries were told by the two vic­tims at Wed­nes­day’s AGM af­ter club pres­i­dent An­thony Wre­ford re­minded mem­bers the eyes of the global cricket com­mu­nity would be on them this sum­mer. Lord’s hosts the World Cup fi­nal on July 14, fol­lowed by Tests against Ireland and Aus­tralia. The woman stood up at the meet­ing to ex­plain that she had been ‘at­tacked’, and was sur­prised when other mem­bers failed to come im­me­di­ately to her as­sis­tance. The de­tails of the as­sault are un­clear and be­cause the po­lice were in­volved MCC would not say what ac­tion, if any, was taken against her al­leged as­sailant. Af­ter speak­ing, the woman re­ceived a round of ap­plause. The case of anti-semitism

also led to po­lice in­volve­ment be­fore the man dropped the charges for fear of in­volv­ing the club in bad pub­lic­ity. MCC sec­re­tary and chief ex­ec­u­tive Guy Laven­der said in a state­ment to

Sports­mail: ‘Mem­bers voted over­whelm­ingly to ap­prove the in­clu­sion of an in­ter­nal code of con­duct. ‘While dis­ci­plinary pro­ce­dures were al­ready in­cluded in the club’s rules, it was felt that a code of con­duct, defin­ing in more de­tail the be­hav­iour ex­pected of MCC mem­bers, is both timely and nec­es­sary, re­flect­ing the in­creas­ingly di­verse pro­file of the mem­ber­ship and the cur­rent pos­i­tive pe­riod of change for MCC. ‘The vast majority of mem­bers re­spect the club’s val­ues and thor­oughly en­joy their vis­its to Lord’s. But MCC is not im­mune from oc­ca­sional in­ci­dents of poor be­hav­iour, and we will al­ways ad­dress these mat­ters swiftly and ap­pro­pri­ately. The AGM high­lighted the club’s stance that such be­hav­iour will not be tol­er­ated. ‘Each mat­ter was dealt with in a proac­tive man­ner and the club’s re­sponse was praised by the in­di­vid­u­als con­cerned.’ The news fol­lows some more pos­i­tive head­lines for MCC. On Mon­day, it was an­nounced that 134 women had joined the club, the big­gest sin­gle in­flux since the men-only rule was ditched in 1998. Two days later, it emerged that Wre­ford’s suc­ces­sor as pres­i­dent would be the pop­u­lar for­mer Sri Lanka cap­tain Ku­mar San­gakkara — the first non-Bri­ton to hold the of­fice.

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