Cricket legend's widow honoured

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The Independent Online
The widow of cricket legend Stuart Surridge yesterday went out to bat for sporting equality by becoming the first woman president of a county cricket club.

Betty Surridge - whose husband captained Surrey County Cricket Club through five successive championship wins in the 1950s - took over the team's presidency from John Paul Getty at the annual general meeting at the Oval, south London.

Mrs Surridge, who describes herself as "70 several", said she was "obviously honoured" to head the team, which her husband led through the glory years of 1952-56, and for which her son "Tiger" Surridge also played.

But the grandmother, who admits she only plays cricket "on the beach", said she would not be initiating radical changes to bowl out sporting chauvinism. "I think the job's a figurehead," she said.

"But what I am good at is meeting people. I know a lot of cricketing people and I shall help entertain."

Mrs Surridge - who will be banned from entering the Long Room at Lord's because of her sex - said she hoped her new role would improve the status of women in cricket.

And she said the county club - the first to allow women into the pavilion - had been wholeheartedly in favour of her election.

"There's been no opposition, at least not in my hearing. They're all over the moon," she said.