Lord’s, May 4 (IANS) Stephen Fry, the actor and comedian, has been named as the next President of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) after his appointment was ratified at the club’s annual general meeting, here on Wednesday.
Fry, a lifelong cricket supporter, is a patron of the MCC Foundation, and delivered a memorable MCC Cowdrey Lecture last year. He was nominated for the role by the current President, Clare Connor, and will take over when her term ends on October 1.
“I am honoured and proud to be nominated as the next President of MCC. It is a club that is known throughout the world for what it represents in the game and to be gifted the opportunity to perform this role is truly humbling,” Fry said in a statement.
“I thank Clare for this incredible opportunity and I look forward to supporting her as President Designate over the summer before commencing my own innings in the autumn,” he added.
The 64-year old Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director. He is also an advocate for mental health and has been President of Mind, the mental health charity, for over a decade.
An MCC Member since 2011, he is widely known to be a lover of cricket and delivered the 20th MCC Cowdrey Lecture in November 2021. As only the second non-cricketing personality to give the Lecture, following Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2008, his impassioned speech was both powerful and memorable, and included the suggestion that Yorkshire had exuded a “mephitic stink” during their handling of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal.
“When he [Rafiq] said today that he didn’t want his son to go anywhere near cricket my heart fell to my boots. But actually that simple statement crystallises everything, it gives us a clear human image that says it all. It is a rallying cry,” Fry said during his speech.
“Unless all our nation’s sons and daughters with the talent and desire to have a life in cricket are confident that cricket will want to have a life with them, the spirit of cricket, its very flame, will flicker and go out. Let’s dedicate ourselves to ensuring that that will never happen,” he added.
The current President Connor said Stephen will be a wonderful ambassador for MCC.
“I am thrilled to be able to announce Stephen as my successor. He has a deep love and care for cricket and will be a wonderful ambassador for MCC.The Cowdrey Lecture he delivered last year was inspiring and showed the extent to which he understands the challenges and opportunities that both MCC and cricket face. He will bring a wealth of experience to the role and I hope he thoroughly enjoys his year,” said Connor.
Wednesday’s annual general meeting at Lord’s was the first to be held in a hybrid format, with members attending in person at the ground as well as online. This follows the previous two years where meetings were held solely online due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.