Cricket: MCC officials agree to ballot over future

The MCC have acceded to pressure from their own members and called for a vote of no confidence in the current administration.

Continuing criticism of the committee at the Marylebone Cricket Club prompted the newly-elected president, Tony Lewis, to call for a special general meeting - the third in the past 18 months - to hold the vote. A rebel group led by retired businessman Michael Geliot had persistently attacked the decision to charge members a pounds 75 ticket fee for World Cup matches at Lord's.

"The SGM will take place as soon as is practical," Lewis told last night's annual general meeting. "The committee regret the expenditure of time and money which an SGM will entail, not to mention the distraction from the true business of the club. Nevertheless, the committee recognises the necessity of this action, the outcome of which we expect every member of the Club to respect."

The sponsors of the England team have promised a pounds 200,000 bonus for the squad should they lift the trophy at Lord's in the World Cup final. England will be guaranteed pounds 50,000 by Vodafone if they reach the semi-finals and pounds 100,000 if they reach the final, as well as being given other bonuses if they reach the Super Six stage of the competition, which starts next Friday..

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