Former England captain Clare Connor is set to become the first female president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in its 233-year-old history.
Clare is current England and Wales Cricket Board’s managing director of women’s cricket. The 43-year-old will take up the post on October 1, 2021, pending approval by the club’s members, the MCC confirmed on Wednesday.
Current MCC President Kumar Sangakkara has been invited to remain in the role for a second twelve-month tenure due to the impact of COVID-19 on the cricketing landscape.
“I am deeply honoured to be named the next President of MCC. Cricket has enriched my life so deeply already, and now it hands me this wonderful privilege,” said Clare.
“We often need to look back to see how far we’ve come. I made my first visit to Lord’s as a starry-eyed, cricket-obsessed 9 year-old girl at a time when women were not welcome in the Long Room. Times have changed.
“Now I find myself entrusted with this remarkable opportunity — the opportunity to play a part in helping MCC, cricket’s most influential club, to thrive and grow in an even more modern and inclusive future,” she added.
“And as we take small steps to emerge from this uncertain and difficult time, we are going to need the power of sport and strong sporting organisations like MCC more than ever. I really am very proud to have been asked to be its next President.”
If Sangakkara’s two-year term is approved by Members at the MCC AGM, Clare’s tenure will begin on October 1, 2021, and will conclude on September 30, 2022.
Former Sri Lankan international Sangakkara, who became the club’s first non-British President when he assumed office in October 2019, will then stand down in September 2021.
“I am thrilled that Clare has accepted the invitation to become the next President of MCC. The club has a significant role to play in cricket’s global appeal and with her influence, I am sure she will make a considerable contribution to MCC,” said Sangakkara.
“With the extended lead-in time until she takes office, she will have an important part to play as President-Designate.”
Clare made her England debut in 1995 at the age of 19, and took over the captaincy in 2000, leading England at Lord’s against Australia a year later. An all-rounder who bowled left-arm spin, she led England women to their first Ashes triumph in 42 years, overseeing a 1-0 series win in 2005.
The Ashes win was the culmination of her six-year stint as captain of her country, retiring from the game shortly thereafter. She was appointed as the ECB’s Head of Women’s Cricket in 2007, having previously taught English Literature and been Head of PR at Brighton College alongside her cricketing career.