Women’s Varsity match set for full Lord’s debut after universities reach agreement


Campaigners achieve aim of gender equality with commitment to T20 double-header

The women’s Varsity match looks certain to be played on the main square at Lord’s for the first time following pressure on Marylebone Cricket Club and the universities’ cricket clubs.

While the men’s Varsity match has, in one form or another, been played at Lord’s for almost 200 years, the women’s match has never progressed beyond the Nursery ground.

From 2022, however, all that is set to change. After a campaign launched by former Oxford captain, Vanessa Picker, MCC and the cricket clubs of both Oxford and Cambridge universities have committed to ensuring gender parity in future Varsity fixtures. That means that, from next year, the matches will be scheduled as a T20 double-header on the same day at Lord’s.

The news represents a significant victory for Picker and the Stump Out Sexism (SOS) campaign she co-founded.

A statement released by Cambridge University Cricket Club (CUCC) said: “CUCC is pleased that MCC has publicly agreed to host both women’s and men’s Varsity matches on the main square at Lord’s in 2022. CUCC confirms that it will in future ensure that both teams have equal opportunities at Lord’s, and will deliver specific proposals for the format of next year’s Varsity day (in liaison with OUCC and MCC) by the end of September.”

Claire Taylor, the former England batter and current vice-chair of Oxford University Cricket Club, also welcomed the news.

“It has always been our intention to explore the possibility of a double header at Lord’s, but it was a question of when; ensuring that any change in format would be sustainable,” Taylor said. “Playing a men’s and women’s double-header on the main ground at Lord’s in 2022 will be an exciting prospect for all involved and a real opportunity to celebrate varsity cricket. We thank MCC for the opportunity.”