Ashraf Ali Siddiqui looks at an interesting development
British actor Stephen Fry becomes MCC president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), a year after he advocated for change following a racism scandal that shook English cricket. Fry is widely rated as having remarkable grey matter and is celebrated an intellectual amongst the galaxy of media celebrities. He is very well known as a witty TV personality and his talent is greatly appreciated in this circle. He is a towering presence in media world and is well-respected for his fair and candid views.
A lifelong cricket fan, Fry becomes MCC president was only the second non-cricketing personality after the late archbishop Desmond Tutu to give the prestigious Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture in which he denounced the shameful scandals that regularly seem to engulf the game we love. Speaking in November last year, his address followed Azeem Rafiq’s allegations that he had been a victim of institutional racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Yorkshire were banned from hosting international cricket at Headingly in Leeds but England’s cricket board lifted the ban in February after the club approved structural changes to the board. This particular action was widely resented though Yorkshire Club authorities have become very vigilant about racist tendencies in Yorkshire cricket.
Fry will replace former England captain Clare Connor, who nominated the 64-year-old comedian and author to the role that is a 12-month term. An MCC member since 2011, Fry said he was honoured and proud at the nomination. He added that Yorkshire 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. Most established institutions bring in celebrities to add flavour to them and they derive much advantage out of such actions. It is widely accepted that Fry’s presence as nominal head of the MCC would add value to the club itself that is rated as one of the outstanding institutions in the game of cricket. TW