England v SA, 1st Test, Lord’s

England v SA, 1st Test, Lord’s

The Heyhoe Flint Gate was officially opened at Lord’s on the first morning of England’s men’s Test match against South Africa, to honor the life of Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint, one of the great pioneers of women’s cricket.

Heyhoe Flint, who died in 2017 at the age of 77, made her England debut in 1960 and captained the national team in a career that spanned two decades. She played a pivotal role in creating the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1973, leading England to victory in the inaugural tournament. Her performances on the field led to her being inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2010.

Heyhoe Flint made further history in 1976 when she became the first female cricketer to set foot, as a player, in Lord’s Main Ground. She remained a dedicated advocate for the inclusion of women in the game once she ended her playing career and was instrumental in the campaign to allow women to become members of the MCC in 1998.

The following year, Heyhoe Flint became one of the club’s first members, along with nine other women elected as MCC Honorary Life Memberships. In 2004, she made history again when she became the first woman to join the MCC Committee. A portrait of Heyhoe Flint, unveiled in 2010, is displayed in the Lord’s Pavilion, above the entrance to the Long Room.

“Rachael Heyhoe Flint was not only one of the greatest players to ever play, but her pioneering drive to further the cause of women’s cricket for future generations has left a remarkable legacy and impact on our sport,” said Clare Connor, President of MCC. her, she said.

“Rachael’s influence in making it possible for women to play and watch cricket at Lord’s, and to participate more widely in the game, was unparalleled and her contribution to breaking down barriers for women in cricket will always be remembered. Heyhoe opening Flint Gate is a fitting celebration of that drive and contribution during a historic summer of women’s sport.

“Here at MCC, we are delighted to have a permanent commemoration celebrating Rachael’s impact on and off the pitch as she joins WG Grace in becoming only the second female cricketer to have a gate named after her at Lord’s.” .

The old East Gate was replaced and renamed Heyhoe Flint Gate in an official ceremony before the first day’s work, with Rachael’s son Ben joining Connor and CEO and Secretary Guy Lavender to open the gate. To accompany it, a bas-relief sculpture of Rachael Heyhoe Flint and a plaque were also unveiled.

“The family is truly humbled by this incredible gesture from MCC and the sport,” said Ben Heyhoe Flint. “Mum gave her life to the game, so it’s wonderful that the game now chooses to honor her – her contributions then and the legacy she still leaves behind. I hope many young cricketers, both boys and girls, come through here and feel inspired. for this memorial to a lady who triumphed with a measured mix of offense and defense!”

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