Coronavirus: MCC members will not receive refunds for annual fees

A view of the Compton and Edrich Stands at Lord's cricket ground
Lord's was scheduled to host England Test matches against West Indies and Pakistan this summer

MCC members have been told they will not be refunded subscriptions for 2020 despite the prospect of seeing cricket at Lord's being "increasingly remote".

The coronavirus pandemic has seen all cricket suspended until at least 1 July, with the lucrative new The Hundred tournament delayed until 2021.

The 18,000 members have been told their annual fees were the "bedrock" of the club's finances.

Chief executive Guy Lavender said it was "critical" the MCC acted.

"We face the very realistic prospect of substantial loss of income this season," Lavender said in an email to members, many of whom pay annual fees of more than £500.

As well as England Test matches with the West Indies and Pakistan, Lord's was also due to host four of Middlesex's County Championship games, as well as five of the county's T20 Blast group matches and a day/night one-day game with Australia.

Events such as the National Club Championship final, Village Cup final and the Oxford v Cambridge Varsity match were also scheduled to take place at the venue.

"The effect on the club's finances of a loss of revenue of this scale is significant and this has required the committee to take a broader look at the situation," Lavender added.

Lavender said members who were suffering "major personal financial hardship" could ask the club for their fees back, but only "in situations of considerable need" and in the context of being "fair and considerate" to fellow members.

"Our club is not in crisis, or dire financial jeopardy," he added.

"Nevertheless, we must respond and react to the impact of the global pandemic in a timely and decisive manner.

"As members we share a responsibility to ensure we keep MCC and Lord's in good shape for future generations."

Meanwhile, Kumar Sangakkara is set to be offered a further year in the role of MCC club president.

The Coronavirus outbreak has led the committee recommending that Sangakkara, who began his term on 1 October 2019, be invited to serve until 30 September 2021. The motion will need to be approved at the annual general meeting on 24 June.

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